The other day, I was reading the Stranger and came across an article by Charles Mudede raving about the Digable Planets 2nd release, 1994s Blowout Comb.
Since they are one of, like, two hip hop acts from Seattle that people are aware of outside the 206 area code (Hi, Sir Mix-A-Lot), I remember the Digable Planets from when they released the single Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat). But, like most people, I figured they dropped off the planet after that songs album, Reachin': A New Refutation Of Time And Space, failed to produce another single.
So, I was suprised to find out that they had released any another album, "Blowout Comob". And even more surprised, when I listened to it today, to realize its really good.
A lot of the reviews on Amazon compare Digable Planets to acts like De La Soul or A Tribe Called Quest, and they aren't wrong. All those groups forsake the usual trappings found with rap music, and generally emphasis a more positive message. But, where Digable Planets seperate themselves is in their unerring dedication to being laid back. De La Soul and Tribe might have often upped the tempo to produce a song that you could shake it to, but Digable Planets are happy to keep butts placed restfully in the their seats. But, while you might be smooth talking a member of the opposite sex, or huddled in coffee shop conspiring, your head will be nodding.
But, this isn't easy listening, its dense and interesting listening. And something that I'm enjoying listening to in my darkened office on a hot day.
Digable Planets' "Blowout Comb"
I've also noticed that they have a newer release, Beyond The Spectrum..., but I haven't had a chance to give it a proper listen. Maybe tomorrow.
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