Digable Planets – Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles

Digable Planets - Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles Artist: Digable Planets
Album: Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles
Label: Blue Note
Rating: 5/5

Although
making a late debut to the Hip-Hop/jazz fusion era in ‘93─ when
Native Tongue ruled ─ and before gangsta and bling bling were all
the rage, Digable Planets held their own, snagging a Grammy and several
other accolades. Thirteen years later, they’re back, reintroducing
themselves to a new generation of Hip-Hop heads. Beyond the Spectrum:
The Creamy Spy Chronicles is their latest, a compilation of some
of their popular singles and B-sides.

By
combining some of their best songs, they have created a classic. Including
tracks and remixes from Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and
Space) and Blowout Comb,
Doodlebug, Butterfly and the forever fly Ladybug Mecca were right on
time with their nostalgic come back. Their reunion album is forthcoming
but this will definitely tithe Hip-Hop enthusiasts over in the meantime.

The
album is laced with irrefutably dope tracks like “Where I’m From,”
describing Fort Greene, Brooklyn back in the day (before the gentrification),
“Jettin,” “Nickel Bags,” and
“Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat).”
Opening with heavy bass rips and classic boom-bap Butterfly had the
first verse on Cool Like Dat, spittin’ We like the breeze
flow straight out of our lids/Them they got moved by these hard rock
Brooklyn kids/ Us flow a rush when the DJ’s boomin’ classics/ You
dig the crew on the fattest hip hop records,
there is no way this song could have gone unnoticed. Basically, this
trip down memory lane will make Hip-Hop fanatics who were teens, tweens
and young adults in the 90’s long for the days when rappers were more
creative and Hip-Hop was more balanced.

Do
you remember where you were the first time you heard “Rebirth of
Slick (Cool Like That)?” Do you remember how fly it made you feel
to rap along with the chorus, affirming how “cool like that,” you
really were? If this is putting a smile on your face, go cop the album.
Even if you have previous Digable Planets recordings, it’s still worth
it. Although the album is classic, the only disappointment is that for
whatever reason, “Flyin’ High in the Brooklyn Sky” from
Stolen Moments Red Hot + Cool album, is missing.

Considering
the state of the rap game now, it may be hard for them to make an effective
come back because of their so-called “back packer” image. With jaded
Hip-Hop heads jumping ship and young bucks who know nothing other than
G-Unit, it will be interesting to see how and where Digable Planets
fit in.

But
until then, chill out all you 70’s and 80’s babies. This is grown
folks music ─ and it’s all good…literally. So, go cop it for old
times sake.

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