Equipto and Brycon are veterans of the Bay Area hip hop scene, and the two have collaborated over the years. Most notably, this happened in 2018, when they released The Watershed, which they then followed up in 2021 with Don’t Forget You’re Welcome. Now they have come right back with a slightly different sort of project, Can’t Stay Perched All the Time.

As you begin to listen to Can’t Stay Perched All the Time, hip hop fans of a certain age might begin to feel a sense of nostalgia. That’s because Equipto and Brycon wanted to take things back, not just in terms of the style of hip hop they are doing, but in terms of the style of product they were making. By this I mean that this project is designed to take you back to the mixtape era, where you wouldn’t necessarily get fully formed pop songs, but you would get all of these great snippets of killer sample flips and loops, dope verses, and all sorts of interesting interstitials, mixed together to flow seamlessly to encourage listeners to just go along for the ride. Brycon is an ideal producer for a project like this, with his extensive crate digging skills, with Equipto providing some additional production work as well. Equipto is leading the way on the mic, with his conversational flow and clear annunciation as he weaves between some laid back rhymes about the every day and some political messages as he encourages listeners to care about their community and to get involved. Along the way, we get plenty of creative friends dropping in to have some fun and add some flavor, such as Monk HTS, Phesto Dee, Professa Gabel, Mcstravick, DJ Pause, Rachel Panni, Agee, and Frisco Lens. Where the third heat comes in, though, is from the thoughtfully placed snippets of interviews conducted by Art Sato, the long-time Berkley Radio host, preserved by the Freedom Archives. These interludes provide some great food for thought that often serve as launching points for the next stretch of the tape and pushes the whole project up a level.

Can’t Stay Perched All the Time is the type of project you love to see from veteran artists and collaborators like Brycon and Equipto. In other hands, this could have been a phoned-in project that just relied on some basic grooves and generic rhymes, but these two love the art form too much to do something like that. Because of that, we get one of the best mixtapes you’ll come across – one that is easy to listen to at first, but then challenges you with some really creative production and thoughtful lyricism that will have you pausing and rewinding.