Adrian Younge teams up with the Souls Of Mischief for a concept album that reaches deep into the Oakland rap group's collective history. Tajai, A-Plus, Opio and Phesto drew inspiration from a near fatal incident involving group members early in their careers. From there they trade bars and verses to weave a cinematic 90s crime tale of love, loss, and revenge. Ali Shaheed Muhammed of A Tribe Called Quest narrates the story with periodic station breaks from the fictional Oakland radio station K-NOW. The action kicks off straight out of the gate with "Time Stopped." It details the episode in question with each of the Souls providing their perspective. Busta Rhymes pops on the following track to provide the perspective of the shooter. Younge's beats provide the perfect backdrop for the crew's story telling. There's a wealth of live instrumentation and filthy funk. There are some boom bap moments as well, like the title track where Snoop Dogg provides some perspective. There Is Only Now speaks to Younge's ability to work with a variety of artists in hip hop and create unique worlds for each to inhabit. Check out the Lo filled video for the title track below.
- music label: Linear Labs 2014
reviewed by Kool Moby 08/2014