Wednesday, January 8, 2014

[Album Review] Akoko - CAT•A•RAPS

Way back in February of last year I got hip to Akoko through their excellent collaboration with SIR E.U simply known as "Thee Hipókolypse" featuring some crazy lyricism and great production from Plue Starfox. Akoko comprised of Sugg Savage and Sloane Amelia, is a group based in D.C. and one of the best acts from the area which already features great talent (if you follow this blog, something you'll know). I type this next sentence fully aware of what I'm stating and I stand by it.

Akoko is the female version of Outkast.

Hopefully you haven't exited out of the page and are still reading this, if so thanks if not...well...I guess you really can't see this so...yeah...back to what I said. As I got further and further into CAT•A•RAPS I couldn't help but think this over and over. Sugg and Sloane not only match the legendary ATLiens in terms of chemistry as a duo but also in creativity. If you haven't seen any of their videos I suggest you stop reading and do so. See what I mean? They aren't the typical "I'm a boss ass bitch. My pussy good. 5 Star Chick" that most female rappers seem to be. Just like how Andre and Big Boi aren't typical "My nigga, my nigga. Cars, clothes, bitches" rappers. They're both different but it doesn't come off as forced to stand out it's just natural. 

One of the most overlooked things in Hip-Hop now is track chemistry, in today's Hip-Hop collaborations are rarely about genuine respect for other artist's craft but about a quick cash grab. Even today's music groups are more of collectives, just a bunch of artists behind one brand but not really a music group. Akoko is a group. The ladies flow and trade off each other perfectly, their chemistry is one of the main things that made me initially make the comparison.

With that being said I've already spent too much time on the subject and I want this to be a review of CAT•A•RAPS not them as a group. To get to the project itself, barely released before the New Year, it definitely was one of the sleeper hits of 2013. I had high expectations after hearing them initially and I can say that after hearing the full project they were definitely met and even exceed at times. 

I knew coming in that CAT•A•RAPS was going to be different but I didn't expect what I ended up hearing. To call this a rap album would be incorrect, it's more than that. Combining elements of Neo-Soul, Electronic, Alternative and even some Reggae CAT•A•RAPS transcends the genres to become something truly unique. Sloane and Sugg never sound out of element either, whether clever wordplay, viscous bars, rapid multi syllables flows or even beautiful harmonizing they can do it all and well. 

I don't want to bore you with anymore reading (there is already a lot) I try to keep these short but this review was different. 2013 was a great year of music and finding Akoko and CAT•A•RAPS are among my personal highlights. There isn't much else to say other then listen and hopefully you enjoy CAT•A•RAPS as much as I do.

Standout Tracks: A++, Deadly Venom, Dogma (The Sparrow), No Offer, Royal Flush, The Blair Witch Project & Thee Hipókolypse

+ Excellent lyricism
+ Great track presence 
+ Multi displays of high level emceeing skill
+ Creativity

- One or two lacking tracks