Release Date: Apr 28, 2009
Record label: Anticon
Doseone and Jel, the rapper and producer who collaborate under the name Themselves, have defined theFREEhoudini as their “posse record that never was, and contribution to the mixtape medium circuit so tied to hip hop history. ” This goes a long way in explaining the perversity of dubbing this a Themselves album in the first place, given that it is the first proper release to be credited solely to the duo since 2002’s The No Music (notwithstanding 2005’s underestimated 13 & God, a collaboration with German electro-poppers The Notwist). Particularly with Doseone and Jel both now doing full time duty in the notably higher profile outfit Subtle, the use of this long-dormant moniker reveals itself to be strategic well beyond the usual freedom from expectations that typifies the indulgence in such side projects.
P.O.S. :: Chill, dummyDoomtree RecordsAuthor: Patrick TaylorI've been a fan of Stefon "P.O.S." Alexander since his debut nearly 10 years ago. On "Audition" and 2009's "Never Better," he proved himself to be one of the few artists who could successfully meld punk rock and hip-hop. Fellow Minnesotans ….
When the hip-hop collective Anticon first came on the scene with 1999's Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop, they presented an illusion of a united front, a group sharing an aesthetic and plans for domination. But this sense disappeared almost immediately as the core artists-- Sole, Alias, Doseone, Jel, and Pedestrian-- broke away into so many side collaborations that Anticon started to resemble a virus more than a movement. Over the years, they haven't so much expanded as metastasized, finding new converts (Sage Francis, Odd Nosdam, Dosh) as they splinter into smaller and smaller pieces and pursue their aggressively wayward interests.
Although theFREEhoudini is billed as a Themselves mixtape and meant to be the precursor to that group's upcoming LP, Crownsdown, it's more a reunion of the Anticon roster than anything. In addition to Doseone and Jel of Themselves, the album features Yoni Wolf from Why?, Sole, Pedestrian, Passage, Alias, and production from Odd Nosdam. For those anticipating a follow-up to 1999's underground proclamation, Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop, this may be the closest to a full-fledged comeback record that you're going to get.