Review Summary: tortaz
I feel a need for this to be a cliché summertime review, one replete with references to joyous outdoor adventure-lites and other stymieing heat-inspired activities. But fuck that, I’m a parent- I don’t get to enjoy these things. My sole purpose now is to provide these things to my daughter and make sure she learns to appreciate the good things in life. But I hate the heat, I hate the water, I hate the sand, I hate the bugs, the heat, everything
One thing I can enjoy though is the seemingly yearly summertime Warm Brew album. 2013’s The Ride
is the LA crew’s attempt at breaking into mainstream hip-hop charts…in 1995. Aside from the obviously necessary timejump/temporal displacement gear- depending on your time travel rules, they have some serious help on this record with the pair of DJ Dahi- major credits include “Money Trees” and “K.O.N.Y.”- constructed tracks. The excellent duo of “Lightbulb Effect” and “We Don’t Know,” (the latter of which features worldly Brainfeeder MC Azizi Gibson) follow in the style of Warm Brew’s aesthetic while maintaining their sonic presence as beats crafted with an impressive amount of savvy. Other producer credits include holdovers from last year’s great Kottabos
and disappointing Sippin’ All Day Last Night
. Lord Quest contributes several instrumentals as well, including the beat for lead single “Word,” a hotboxed-whip smoky track with a chorus led by Serk Spliff in his pseudo-1993 Snoop Dogg drawl.
While the assemblage of producers on this album may be the best of any Warm Brew release yet, the real star of this tape is the viciously vivacious Ray Wright. You can tell just from The Ride
’s cover- he sits in the back of the convertible, stoically stone-faced with a “Ima kill a nigga” look in his eyes, in stark contrast to the laidback Serk and goofy Manu Li. His bars are easily the most advanced of the three, particularly on the hater diss “This and That,” where he addresses any issues anyone might have had with Warm Brew with lines like “I could flip me a rack/Cop me a dungeon with some chambers that’s fat/And torture weak hustlers that think they can rap/Soundin’ like Bill Cosby off some freebase crack.”
There's the one/two punch of “When I Get High” and “Muncheez,” which are songs both owing as much to Warm Brew’s ideology in Too $hort and Tupac as they do to modern day club bangers, the hook of the former declaring “When I wanna get high/Nigga I hit up my folk/Buy blunts in bulk/Submerge in that smoke.” Azizi Gibson’s appearance on “We Don’t Know” is vastly superior to The Ride
’s only other featured rapper, frequent Warm Brew collaborator Hugh Augustine. There are a few questionable songwriting choices, such as the horn melodies on “The Man With The Horn” and the title track’s entire hook. Still this little but of clumsiness doesn’t stop The Ride
from being a great album for BBQs, bonfires, and beach trips.
is Warm Brew’s first release to be featured prominently on livemixtapes, which should garner some positive exposure for them. Either way they’ve found their niche. They may never write another “Go To School” but after a minor setback in the form of last year’s bland Sippin’ All Day Last Night
they continue to produce a quantity of quality music. Where all my bitches?