Review Summary: Same formula, same information.
There’s something unnerving about Joseph Gordon- Levitt’s spoken word introduction to Event II
. An album of this magnitude is rooted in near mythical past, folks have spent over a decade waiting for the follow up to that which is often heralded as one of the most impressive records to ever come from the genre. So when that distinguishable voice begins speaking in what sounds like a narrative that wouldn’t be out of place on the opening page of a Grant Morrison Batman and Robin story arc, it works so well to dislodge a lot of faith to Del and Dan’s initial cult following.
Instead of channeling the creativity that Del once honed on the original 3030
record, the ‘mythical duo’ decide to create an almost carbon copy of that initial work. For this reason they have hindered this record from ever reaching the stratospheric realm in which it’s predecessor still resides. It’s hard to judge Event II
on a lyrical basis. Lyrically, Del is just as proficient as ever, however it seems like he’s beating a dead horse. The same themes are dressed in different costumes throughout the record and it eventually becomes tired.
On The Return
, Deltron (Dan and Del The Funkee Homosapien) take everything that made 3030
such a phenomenal opening track and emulate it a level of annoyance. The beat again is incredible, it’s near opium laced with warmth and Dan shows us how to make a 7-minute track float on by without much thought, however, it seems like some of the magic of Deltron has disappeared as a cohesive unit. Del bumbles through the track with his trademark animated flow and gives us everything we have come to expect from him. It is here that lays the problem, it is no secret that this is 13 years of musical work from this collective, yet somehow instead of experiencing something new and exciting, we are offered the same work, slightly repackaged.
Those taken aback initially by the guest spots on Event II
need not worry. Comedians David Cross and The Lonely Island feature in two skits based on the same concept; times are changing, kids don’t respect their elders, youths taking things for granted, etc. This happens 3 times on the record to no benefit. Other guest spots are given to the likes of Zack De La Rocha (of Rage Against The Machine fame) and Mike Patton (just of fame) the former offering exactly what you’d expect, a pissed off, *** the system chorus that honestly probably wouldn’t have made the cut on Evil Empire
. Patton’s contribution is far more minimal, giving up only a pseudo haunting background vocal sample on the lead single.
The ingenuity that made 3030
so rewarding was in its pioneering of futuristic hip-hop as an idea, one that spread and resulted in truly great emulations in style by other artists and had an accessibility to a certain group of people into the genre that otherwise would never have bothered. This level of creativity is what, we as a listener expected and after 13 years of waiting, what we felt we deserved. Instead, Deltron has delivered the level of creativity that has amounted to what can only be described as a glorified collection of B sides.