The Procussions have been around for awhile now making waves in the pool of D-Town’s hip-hop scene. They’ve gotten play and props from local venues and underground radio. However, their entire steelo was that of those that came before—they were either emulating Jurassic 5 or trying to be the resurrection of The Pharcyde.
With the release of this 12-inch, they do little to change that frame of thought. The lead track “Leave Her Alone” with its smooth music and female vocal, as well as the theme, are all to reminiscent of The Pharcyde’s “Passing Me Bye.” That song being a classic, you would think that’s not a bad thing; and you’d be right. But, where the Pharcyde was trying to figure out why the girl wouldn’t give them the time of day, The Procussions are saying “now that I got her I don’t want her no more,” therefore “I gotta leave her alone (bye!).”
The track “Lights Off” is a back pack track if ever there was one; think vintage J-5. Over a nicely performed scratch and industrial drums, that are sparse enough to allow the vocals to shine through, this collective spits game on people who are caught up in there own neuroses. One story addresses spirituality, another touches on a woman’s fight with vanity, and yet another deals with morality. Pretty heavy duty stuff. Makes you pine for the old days when hip-hop dropped more science than Crystale and Bling, Bling! The chorus is rather involved, but sums up the aesthetic very nicely: “[He was a] Million dollar man/ million dollar plan/ front cover magazine every newsstand/ the admiration of his fellow man/ citizen/ 11 bedroom house/ 20 acre land/ seven cars each about a hundred grand/every single woman in the worlds kind of man/ everything that you could ask for when the lights on will the smile remain? Turn the lights off.”
Which bring us to “We Gotta!(Get Up).” Here the group turns their sights on social commentary. Over a jazzy, horn heavy track they sing-say “we gotta get up, get up, now/ get up, get up now/ my brotha its on you now/ there’s so much to do now…” allowing time to drop gems like “the sun risen I’m late to rise/ I open my eyes to find I’m two steps behind/ reminiscing of the ways of the world today/ look at the clock/ the revolution ain’t far away…” Of course, the horny bridge reminds us of early Premo and Pete Rock at his height. Again, not a bad thing, just an observation.
All told, the production is top notch: Stro the 89th Key lacing all of the tunes with a certain head-nod ability. The recording is also very clean, having been recorded at the Terror Dome in LA and FTM Studios in Denver. So the problem lies not in the sonics, but in the fact that these tunes sound like groups from LA’s underground or New York’s old school, as opposed to be true to the D-Town sound. When these fellas get their own voice they are liable to be dangerous. Until then, its cool to stroll down memory lane with them.