Album Review: 3001: A Laced Odyssey by Flatbush Zombies
Great, Based on 6 Critics
HipHopDX - 84 Based on rating 4.2/5
Lucid dreams are the original virtual reality. Succinctly put, they are dreams in which the dreamer is conscious they are within a dream and what they are experiencing is different from the conventional, waking world. In lucid dreams, the dreamer can alter what happens in their reality, making it an invaluable tool for creatives who can harness such an experience.
With three mixtapes already in their discography, this Brooklyn hip-hop trio arrived with a debut album more fully formed than most, but 3001: A Laced Odyssey is still a staggeringly big and stunning release. Add that it's a concept album -- predicting the future like Kubrick's 2001 -- and the Flatbush Zombies seem unstoppable, something underlined by how effortlessly they spit their brilliance. Flexing cut "Bounce" offers "Spliff long looking like a Manson/I'm on acid feeling like the Hamptons" as if Timothy Leary and Lil Wayne co-wrote the lyrics, while later, the song barks "Pull up your Pampers," along with street talk, swear words, and party choruses that stick in the head.
Pull up a Google search for “rap” and “ego” and check out the number of results. Like peanut butter and jelly — or soda and prescription-strength cough syrup — the two commingle with seemingly predictable synergy. While having an inflated ego is practically a prerequisite for good music in today’s hip-hop market, it’s also often problematic for both personal and artistic reasons.
For those paying attention, 2012 represented a minor hip-hop renaissance in New York, with burgeoning rap acts blanketing all corners of the city. A$AP Rocky and his Mob had Harlem secured; French Montana turned the Bronx sound upside down. Action Bronson was out in Queens fighting Ghostface comparisons. And in Brooklyn, we had Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew and, of course, the Flatbush Zombies, invoking the sound of NY eras past.
The Beast Coast Movement in Brooklyn seems like a figment of the past. Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era clan have already carved a path for themselves amongst their ‘90s throwback pastiche. Left-field collective The Underachievers splashed over esoteric mysticism and spun on their existential axis. Everyone else was moving on to bigger, better things.
While Flatbush Zombies have only even been together as a group for a few years, it’s felt like an eternity at times waiting for their debut studio album to be released. They built a cult following after the release of two excellent mixtapes, 2012’s D.R.U.G.S. and 2013’s BetterOffDEAD, as well as their high-energy live shows. They released a short EP with fellow “Beast Coast” movement members the Underachievers in 2014, but for a while, very little was coming from the Brooklyn, N.Y.