Review Summary: You can't hate808s and Dark Grapes II
is like, 75% perfect. There’s a drop somewhere in between “Take 1” and “Perfect Skies” where you kind of forget you’re listening to Main Attrakionz and maybe pick up a nice book or something, but then that little cheesy piano sample hits and yep, it’s perfect again. By any standard of measure this is a substantial improvement over Kanye’s 808s
, which is merely about 12% perfect.
But that’s irrelevant, because all things considered, 75% perfection is pretty damn good. These are fifteen little bundles of cloud-rap goodness all wrapped in haze and sprinkled with some slow-mo, scattershot flow.
Flow is the key word here, because if there’s anything that 808s
does, it flows. In a world of Lil B mixtapes and 20-track rap albums, this is an impressively succinct, complete piece of work. For all the lazy, “just wanna put my feet up” images conjured by this brand of “cloud rap”, 808s
is expertly produced. For all the haze in their beats and wobble in their voices, Main Attrakionz are airtight. You probably wouldn’t catch them saying it, but 808s
didn’t happen by accident. It couldn’t have.
It’s that striking contrast between the near-amateurism of the lyrics--Squadda and Mondre literally shower listeners with “best duo ever!”s and “light some weed up”s--and the brilliant way their flow locks in with the production that elevates the mixtape above the swarms of Clams Casino and Friendzone-inspired efforts that are creeping ever-closer to the mainstream. For however long this trend lasts (certainly not too long, if the duo’s follow-up is anything to go by), 808s
deserves to be the standard-bearer.