Flash Bang Grenada - 10 Haters
Flash Bang Grenada is what happens when you take Cheshire-Cat-on-Ritalin speed rapper and perennial Sardless favourite Busdriver (Jhelli Beam 7.5/10; Computer Cooties 8.7/10) and team him up with the unpredictable battle rap master MC Nocando. 10 Haters is their long awaited and much anticipated début effort.
I don't need a private jet to make a model's privates wet
These two have teamed up in the past, notably on Busdriver's Jhelli Beam for the bizarre 'Least Favourite Rapper', significant mostly for its successful rhyming of Brokeback with broke back and the name checking of everyone from Flava Flav to Forest Whitaker to Idi Amin to Time-Warner to Michael Richards. It was OK, but then came Nocando's solo effort Jimmy The Lock and the standout track 'Two Track Mind', upon which Busdriver wailed a hypnotic chorus while Nocando talked about being a gun and a knife and liking PayPal while successfully laying cheap-shots on Chris Brown alongside a bunch of other stuff, and it was really, really good. Like, so good that when this reviewer first heard of Flash Bang Grenada and the existence of an album there was a vague kind of a hope that 10 Haters would be comprised of Nocando and Busdriver attempting to remake 'Two Track Mind' over and over again for 10 or so tracks. I'd happily part with 10 dollars++ or so to hear that!
Not bi-polar but Amy Poehler
Several tracks on 10 Haters seem to have emerged from some ludicrous scenario posited as a joke, from which Busdriver and Nocando manage to stretch to entire tracks without ever falling in to the trap of making the type of short shelf-life "joke rap" synonymous with the likes of Lonely Island et al. Chief among these is the track 'Moisturizer', where the lyrics
We'll make you touch yourself when we put this on you are followed up with
MOISTURIZER!, and Nocando talks some shit about how the Flash Bang Granada moisturisers are formulated with petroleum jelly and vitamin E and any adverse reactions are probably due to your lack of requisite swag, it is fully bizarre and is accompanied by an equally bizarre video. On 'Bernie' they manage to compile an entire track referencing the corpse-bothering classic Weekend At Burnie's, in particular dancing like an
old dead white man -
Tilt your head back, make your shoulders shake, let your arms swang... bend your back a little, now a little 'mo, just like how Burnie was in the movie (dead with a 'mo). It remains to be seen whether this dance will take off or not. 'Beat My Bitch' plays on the typical mainstream hip-hop misogyny folks seem to love for some reason, but upon close listening the track is mostly concerned with making actual beats their bitch. Ha! Tricked you! It's a pun! This track too references Weekend At Burnie's, which is amazing and odd, perhaps it was on TV during the recording of this album or something? Perhaps Flash Bang Grenada are considering rebooting the classic franchise?
I'm on the 2-10 Metro, fly as fuck
That is not to say the entire album is compiled entirely of jokes and pun-based comedy misunderstandings, although if it were that'd probably be something in and of itself. Things get slightly more serious on tracks such as 'Aphrodite', which seems to be concerned with convincing someone that they are happy and/or girl troubles etc., you know lady/romance type stuff. While its subject matter may or may not be a touch subtle for your typical insensitive clod amateur music reviewer, the imagery evoked on this track is rather mind bending - lyrics include
sipping bath water out of test tubes,
I am a breath of fresh air, my chest hair filters shit fumes and something about a hysterectomy - and the mildly hypnotic beats and production by E. Super make this track kind of creepy and a standout at the same time. The titular track '10 Haters' seems to rely less on a jokey type scenario while featuring the excellent lyric
white people like me, of course they do, because there are no white people like me. The closing track 'Jimmy' features some intense autobiographical musings from Nocando alone, kind of a weird way to finish the album but it works.
In a perfect world tomahawks blow up in a bouquet of penises
10 Haters features top notch production from the likes of Nosaj Thing, Mexicans with Guns, Mono/Poly, Free The Robots and Shlomo, and drips with that distinctive sound associated with Low End Theory. Busdriver and Nocando crooning and rhyming and spitting over the likes of Free The Robots and Shlomo, of whom to date we have heard in a chiefly instrumental setting, helps to make this "Low End" / L.A. beat scene sound again more accessible, at the same time as making 10 Haters essentially sound unlike any other "hip hop" album currently going around. The first 30 seconds of the album on 'Good Cop, Bad Cop' alone sonically blows most other shit so far this year out of the water. Elsewhere, 'I Can Teleport' broaches the sound first heard on 'Two Track Mind', with Busdrivers production contributing a sort of ethereal hypnotic vibe over which Nocando and Busdriver talk shit about how they can teleport and are
too fly to fly along side exhortations to
fuck the time-space continuum.
If it was up to me, everyone in the Tea Party would be able to speak Farsi
All told, 10 Haters manages to successfully juxtapose several disparate areas subject matter in a funny and interesting manner on top of some of the most interesting beats heard in a while, and does so in a way that is enjoyable to listen to and worthy of several plays. This is an important thing to note, because this could easily have been a complete fuck-up in the hands of less talented dudes, but Flash Bang Grenada have nailed it.
- Track Listing
- 1. Good Cop, Bad Cop (prod. Dibia$e)
- 2. Beat My Bitch (prod. Nosaj Thing)
- 3. I Can Teleport (prod. Busdriver)
- 4. Moisturizer (prod. Mexicans with Guns)
- 5. Aphrodite (prod. E. Super)
- 6. Bernie (prod. Busdriver)
- 7. In a Perfect World (feat. Open Mike Eagle) (prod. Mono/Poly)
- 8. 10 Haters (prod. Free The Robots)
- 9. Hyperbolic (feat. Del the Funky Homosapien) (prod. Shlohmo)
- 10. Jimmy (prod. Bloccade)
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