Siftin’ Through Mediocrity…

That’s a harsh title, I suppose; but the glitchy, Spanish, hip-hop artist Prefuse 73 never fully delivered – at least to my ears.  Back in early 2003, the internet was a blaze with nothing but kind words about Scott Herren and his ability to splice, dice, and experiment with beats and rhymes. The heavily textured beats had a techno vibe, but he wasn’t writing for the club kids; Prefuse related more to the backpacker crowd than anything else.  I was intrigued by descriptions being thrown around, and I couldn’t get my fix soon enough…

There was a time when I resided in a major city and Virgin was the name of a mega record store, too – yes, this was some years ago.  My place of residence afforded me the luxury of being walking distance from this album mecca.  For those of you who were in the know – or maybe lucky enough to frequent this overpriced resource – this was a reputable store, even when looking for independent releases.  I remember walking downstairs to the hip-hop section and picking up the headphones attached to One Word Extinguiser, the latest offering from Prefuse 73.   And anxiously hit play.  Like any hip-hop oriented record, it kicked off with an intro of sorts – a chime or two; an echo; an eerie howl; and an orchestral like cacophony.  It was track two where I realized maybe the hype was legitimate – hard hitting beats, vocals ran through a high speed blender, and a buildup near the end with something big on the verge .  I didn’t need to hear more; this was practically already purchased.  But then, before I could shed the cans on my ears, the explosion kicked in:  Squeaky staccato beats under rapid-fire vocals care of Chicagoan rhyme-spitter Diverse.  Fuckin’ sold, son!

To this day, there hasn’t been a better transition between two tracks than what’s offered below.  Back when I used to make mix CDs, to set the tone a blaze, there wasn’t a better two song intro.

Prefuse 73 :: The End of Biters-International (track 2)

Prefuse 73 :: Plastic featuring Diverse (track 3)

Unfortunately, nothing else grabbed me on this record.  It was almost too experimental for me; and was too instrumental heavy for my liking.

He shines when an MC is enlisted.  From 2005’s Surrounded by Silence

Prefuse 73 :: Morale Crusher featuring Beans


1 Response to “Siftin’ Through Mediocrity…”

  1. 1 radstarr
    January 17, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Cool review, I have never really checked this dude out before, didn’t even know it was one guy to be honest!? I actually thought this was a band, just goes to show you how band names are perceived. I’ll have to give this a listen this week! I need some new rap!

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