Traffic (2010, Reissue)
I have been writing up a lot of reissues lately. One reason for that is that this has been something of a slow starter of a year for new music. The second reason is there are some really good reissues out there and I have a little extra to pick them up. I'd been keeping my eye on this Souls Of Mischief record for a little bit, but then it looked like it had gone back out of print. I didn't want to pay through the nose for it, so I was patient and kept a look out. Luckily, it popped back up on Amazon and I was able to grab a copy.
Along with Del The Funky Homosapien's No Need for Alarm and Casual's Fear Itself, 93 'Til Infinity rounds out my three favorite hip hop records of all time. Yeah, I realize that's a pretty heavy lean towards the Hieroglyphics crew, but what can I say, these albums hit me like a ton of bricks twenty some odd years ago.
The beats are just fantastic. While you could make the argument that similarities could be heard to the sort of jazzy, bebop influenced beats that A Tribe Called Quest was using, I always felt that Souls managed to hit on some of the melodic elements of that, but keep things more aggressive. While no one is ever going to mistake these guys for NWA, you can't deny the very obvious West Coast feeling of this songs.
Four different guys rapping also provide such a dynamic style to these songs as they play off of each other and finish each others lines from time to time. The lyrics are innovative and the rhyming is unique. Even twenty two years later I think you'd be hard pressed to find any current rappers putting out a record this interesting.
Again, 93 'Til Infinity is one of my very favorite records. I'm thrilled to finally have a copy to complete my trinity of the best hip hop records on vinyl.
Souls Of Mischief - "That's When Ya Lost":
Souls Of Mischief - "93 'Til Infinity":