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“And we’ll give these guys credit: they certainly know how to kick things off.”
Who comes up with these names? While we accept that Lostribe is probably not a bad name for a rap group—conjuring as it does memories of A Tribe Called Quest—we’re not so down with the group’s members. The producer is called JustLuv, which is only just bordering on the acceptable, but the MC—and we swear we’re not making this up—is called Agustus ThElefant. If these guys ever get really big, there will be more than a few sub-editors on the big music mags who take one look and quit on the spot. Then drive into the country and shoot themselves.
If you’re wondering, the record is a bit better than the appalling names suggest. The beats are nicely buzzy and synthy in the vein of acts like Zion I and Living Legends. Elefant Man is a solid MC, too, with a slightly gravelly voice that does quite a bit to mark him out as someone to pay attention to.
And we’ll give these guys credit: they certainly know how to kick things off. Album openers are always important, but they’re even more important when the album is from a largely untested rap group. Fortunately ‘After The Lights On’, a Grouch-featuring thumper, is the perfect blend of atmospheric and neck-snapping; the kind of tune you really would put on just as the party dies down. That’s not a bad thing, by the way, especially when the album seems geared towards introspection and heartbreak.
As for the rest of the album? It doesn’t deviate hugely from the main themes, but it’s pretty good—not a classic, by any means, but pretty good. The beats stay crisp—the kick drums on Getting’ Back in particular will haunt you forever—and Nelly Thelefant and his guests (Gift Of Gab, Kweli, Casual) do a solid job. If you like buzzy, heartfelt indie rap, then you’ll get a kick out of Lostribe.