Release Date: Oct 26, 2010
Record label: Mello Music Group
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock
Often, nostalgic-minded emcees and rap fans live frustrated musical lives. Many musicians from the “golden era” can’t recapture the talent that made them successful, while some new emcees try so hard to harken back to the “good ol’ days” that they lose their own identities in the process. These are the few choices that fans of that era are stuck with, so they often find themselves either stuck only listening to the older records that moved them, or unhappily giving in to the new crop of artists that they halfheartedly enjoy.
Gas Mask is the sort of underground hip-hop record that always seems to pop up over the last three or four years. Guided by a strict mid-‘90s ethos that sabotages other efforts, it somehow manages to rise above not only that crop, but much of the year’s more contemporary offerings as well. The Left, a trio lead by rising producer Apollo Brown—whose style is more Oddisee, 9th Wonder, or Marco Polo than Detroit proper—and joined by unknowns MC Journalist 103 and DJ Soko, have given old school heads a very nice surprise.