Album cover Rappalachia - Gangstagrass

Gangstagrass - Rappalachia

24 Jun 2012 row1

Country music is a very varied musical genre. Wikipedia states that outside of America, country music is "highly-popular" in places such as Brazil and of "medium-popularity" in New Zealand. I am not from Brazil but I know that in New Zealand it is not of "medium-popularity" (whatever that means and ignoring Taylor Swift), I would also hazard a guess that bluegrass is one of the the least popular sub-genres. Today's subject for review Rappalachia combines bluegrass with rap.

It would a mistake to quickly write this amalgamation off as a gimmick. This is Gangstagrass's third album. Their song 'Long Hard Times to Come' is the theme to the television show Justified and was nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music". So there are some people out there that think this new genre is amazing.

I am a big fan of hip-hop mix-em-ups. Beatles? Check. Japanese? Check. Video games? Check. For these albums I can say Hey guy, check this album out, the premise is ridiculous...but it sounds awesome!. Sadly when it comes to a fiddle and banjo meeting a turntable and Kool Keith I can only say that it sounds ridiculous.

The problem is that it combines bluegrass music with rapping. It does add a slight beat and a scratch or two, but unlike other genre mash-ups it doesn't try to create hip-hop music by using samples from the other genre. The country music is too overpowering in this and it just reminds me of how much I dislike country music. There are also a few instrumental tracks which doesn't help. To be fair though, the aforementioned albums are aimed at hip-hop heads. This album seems to be aimed at people on the other side, the bluegrass heads.

If you are a fan of Gangstagrass or are just curious about what such a combination would sounds like, then this could be the album for you. But for others, it will entirely depend on your love (or disdain) of the two genres. I do find the concept interesting, but interesting in a free mixtape sort of way and not in the $5.99 USD download sort of way.

Sardless Tracks

Track Listing

  1. Gunslinging Rambler feat. R-SON
  2. Honey Babe feat. Brandi Hart & Dolio the Sleuth
  3. Shoot Dem feat. T.O.N.E-z
  4. Our Life feat. Aint No Love
  5. Red Sky Morning feat. Nitty Scott MC
  6. Rappalachia
  7. Aint No Stopping feat. Dolio the Sleuth
  8. Down By the River, Down By the Sea feat. David E Beats
  9. Country Blues feat. Brandi Hart & Nitty Scott MC
  10. Western feat. Kool Keith
  11. Bound to Ride feat. R-SON & Dolio The Sleuth
  12. No Going Back Feat. Brooklyn35 Collective
  13. Crossbow
  14. Dollar Boss feat. Dead Prez & Kamara Thomas
  15. Till My Last Shot feat. T.O.N.E-z & Jen Larson