Review Summary: After setting the underground on fire, there was no way Dilated Peoples’ debut would live up to the hype… and it doesn’t.
Coming out of the L.A. underground hip hop scene, the trio of MCs Rakaa Iriscience and Evidence along with DJ Babu of the world-famous Beat Junkies made a name for themselves with various guest appearances and singles. Their old-school style and commitment to the basics of hip hop: battle raps and DJing garnered them much fanfare and they where hailed as the saviors of an increasingly deteriorating hip hop scene.
The first single “Work the Angles” took the hip hop world by storm, with an outstanding piano-based beat provided by Kut Masta Kurt and incredible scratching fireworks by DJ Revolution, it signaled the true arrival of Dilated Peoples. The Platform even includes a good old-fashioned DJ showcase track “Service” where Babu is given room to shine with Iriscience bragging “Yo my DJ's so nice he don't slice he severs.” The subject matter is the weakest part of The Platform as it focuses almost exclusively on battle raps and typical MC boasts, “Years in the Making" is a change of pace as it deals with the path that Dilated took to get where they are “Almost ten years in the making ***, it's overnight right"”
Battle rhyme after battle rhyme get stale especially when you have average(Iriscience) to slightly above average(Evidence) MCing although a few guest spots make things interesting. Cypress Hill’s B-Real drops by on “No Retreat,” Aceyalone guests on "The Shape of Things to Come" and The Alkaholiks drop in for “Right On.” All are solid tracks but just a buildup for album-closing posse cut “Ear Drums Pop (Remix)” featuring Defari, Phil Da Agony, Planet Asia and Everlast who takes some choice shots at Eminem: “Cock my hammer, spit a Comet like Haley, I'll buck a three-eighty on ones that act Shady” which ignited a feud between Em and Dilated.
What keeps this from being just another album is its outstanding production(in spots), The Alchemist provides 5 tracks and some scratches on a couple of tracks but his best contribution is the superb title track, over a chopped up guitar sample, you’ll want to hear it over and over again even if Dilated’s rhymes are played by the second listen.
Overall this is a good album that may feel a bit uneven because there are some incredible tracks separated by a lot of filler. After a short intro the title track lets you know what to expect lyrically as Evidence spits “We could go rhyme for rhyme, line for line or track for track and after that, the crowd'll react” and it so it goes for the remaining fourteen tracks. Because this album came out at the height of the bling bling era it was a much needed escape from what was going on but it’s kind of like looking at Eva Longoria on Desperate Housewives, sure she looks great among all those old, past their prime women but when scrutinized further you can appreciate what it really is: something good but really nothing that special.
Work the Angles
Ear Drums Pop (Remix)