25 October 2012

In Case You Missed It: Styles Of Beyond - Reseda Beach

                Confession, I've been playing this Reseda Beach since I was able to download it from iTunes this past Tuesday. I was going to write a review and try to be objective as possible. Instead, I'm just going to tell you why you should cop this release right now. Well, after you read this of course………..

                On Styles Of Beyond’s third release, is nothing short of a reward for their loyal followers and one hell of an initiation if you are hearing them for the first time. Styles Of Beyond, made up of: Ryu, Takbir, DJ/producer Cheapshot and producer Vin Skully. Styles Of Beyond, aside from releasing their own group’s music, has been connected with a number of collectives and side projects including: Fort Minor with Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park fame), the hip hop juggernaut known as Demigodz alongside the likes of Apathy, Vinnie Paz, Motive, Esoteric, and Celph Titled, and Get Busy Committee, made up of Ryu, Apathy and producer Scoop DeVille. One of the many high points of Reseda Beach is that the entire album seems to pull influence from everything they have been a part of.

                The lead off track, aptly titled Here We Go,  is produced by the one and only Scoop DeVille, giving out that Get Busy vibe. The S.O.B. crew eases into the album with what seems like an effortless flow, easily ripping apart metaphors and riding an infectious beat you can’t help but nod your head to. But just as you get lulled into the feel of the smoothed out track, the second track rushes in and lets you know these boys came to get down and if you are coming along for the ride, you had better get ready. The track Hard, is just that, hard as hell. Featuring production from the late J. Dilla, you can also catch this beat on Jay Dee’s Rebirth Of Detroit that dropped earlier this year. Hearing S.O.B. go in on this beat solidifies why I will ALWAYS  check for any collaborations between artists from Cali and Detroit. I don’t know what it is about these two places, but whenever they get together it’s bound to be a problem.

                As the album plays through, each song seems to showcase a sound from one of their many affiliations. The monstrous track, Shut Everything Down, sounds like a Demigodz posse cut, while Apathy flexes his production finesse, flipping the most random sample into a one-of-a-kind banger a la Get Busy Committee on the track Dumb It Down.

                As an added treat, Reseda Beach comes with an album’s worth of songs (a second disc for you physical cats). This comes as a collection of three unreleased tracks and the songs from their 2010 mixtape Razor Tag with DJ Green Lantern without the blends, scratches, and voice-overs. These songs offer the uninitiated a glimpse into the skill that is Styles Of Beyond and is a welcomed inclusion for anyone that missed the mixtape. Check the track Hey You feat. Mike Shinoda for a little of that Fort Minor flow and Savin’ L.A. feat. Bishop Lamont  for another Apathy laced ode to Cali. Better yet, just play the whole damn thing.

                Boasting an all-star roster of guest emcees and producers, Styles Of Beyond kick it into high gear and put up another “W” for the Fresh Coast. Styles Of Beyond proves you can take your craft serious without taking yourself too serious. Reseda Beach is bonafide. I’m betting you don’t have much in you library that sounds like this. You should do something about that.

                Okay…………..NOW you can go and cop the album.


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