An intriguing and accessible set from a very modern rap group.
Noel Gardner 2012-10-16
Track four of 17 on this, the debut album proper by Oakland rap duo Main Attrakionz, calls itself LFK – short for Lo-Fi Kings. If you’re just tuning in now, you’d be forgiven for wondering where they’re coming from on this one.
Bossalinis & Fooliyones, while not exactly what you’d call a mainstream rap album, is consistently accessible, and in thrall to a tangle of overground production styles. There’s nothing lo-fi about what Main Attrakionz’s chief beat-crafter Squadda B, plus over a dozen guest producers, have cooked up here.
It wasn’t always thus, however. When Squadda and Mondre MAN started to blow up last year via blog buzz, much was made of the foggy bedroom atmosphere that indie-friendly producers like Clams Casino imbued in their grooves. They built tracks around Glasser samples and had a mixtape pressed to vinyl by Type, an experimental music label; MA are, in short, a very modern rap group.
Which makes it an amusing oddity when Green on Sight opens the album with the ultra-shiny synths, sing-songy choruses and weed-choked lyrics of classic G-funk. An unhurried demeanour prevails even when, for example, Supreme Cuts bounces all manner of dizzying beats across Take U There. (The closing refrain – “Put me in, coach!” – could scarcely sound more ironic.)
Bossalinis & Fooliyones succeeds in making life as Main Attrakionz sound relentlessly enjoyable. When Mondre ponders cash flow problems during On Tour, a solution occurs to him one line later: “When I come back I’ll hustle for more!”
Gucci Mane appears for the tailback-paced electro of Superstitious, gabbing about “smoking blunts with Mariah” in his ever-strange mushmouth flow. The street’s code is frequently invoked, but escapism through intoxication is always an option; to this end, this is archetypal West Coast rap.
Appropriately for a duo who made their mark online, though, Main Attrakionz are no regional partisans. LFK finds them name-checking Clipse and the late Pimp C – from Virginia and Texas respectively – before Mondre considers his student loan and being interviewed by Pitchfork. If this makes Bossalinis & Fooliyones sound like indie-rap, well, it’s a lot better than that.