This EP is the collaboration between Atlanta-based emcees and a British producer named Dredi. I’m unfamiliar with these artists, but I’m definitely interested in hearing some hip hop out of Atlanta that sets itself apart from all of the major label artists right now. The first track immediately brought to mind MF Doom and Curse Ov Dialect, which promised several possibilities for this project.
Iz-Real and Icky Slick both come on the first track, “Izzy Icky,” and demonstrate verbal prowess and playfulness, which along with a call-back to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?” started to get my hopes up. Unfortunately, The Izslickulus Package derails quickly due to abundant use of sexist and homophobic language. If it happens once or twice, I can maybe excuse it as ignorance and hope it’s not recurrent. Brother Ali has proven that an artist can grow and mature past initial bigotry. Iz-Real and Icky Slick obviously have intelligence to pull of some clever rhymes on this EP, but the volume of sexist and homophobic language on this release starts to tip the scales from ignorant to hateful, and that’s something that I never want to hear. Throw in a couple of pointless skits that don’t add anything to the EP, and I basically want a do over.
Dredi’s beats are on point–a nice mix between inventive music with vintage novelty record samples and hard drum hits that recalls Mush Records’ offerings and some more laid back and jazzy beats that’s more on the Native Tongues side of things. He’s definitely piqued my interest enough to delve into his back catalogue.
While I’ve expressed my disappointment with this EP, I’m still holding out hope for Iz-Real, Icky Slick and all of Strange Gibberish. I appreciate that they are producing hip hop that is outside of the norm in Atlanta, and there is plenty to like here. I just hope that the next release is more thoughtful in its lyrical content.
|Title:||Iz-Real & Icky Slick - The Izslickulus Package?|