30 May 2016 (released)
09 June 2016
Houston duo, 3Bubble and J. Grey have put together a classic hip-hop record of smart rhymes and primo beats to give you a break from the endless derivative trap beats and lazy verses.
Coming out of the hub city of Houston, Texas, the duo takes the best from the three hip-hop centres in America: Brooklyn, Atlanta and Los Angeles. The tight, chilled out, down south rhymes out of Georgia, the smooth choruses of the West Coast's Death Row and the slick urban production coming out of NYC. The two Texas rappers, who each have multiple successful solo records under their belts, have joined forces to release Live from the Pentagon. A thirteen track album of bangers, slow jams and best of all, tracks down the middle which focus on unloading truth over rhyming letters with other letters.
The album kicks off with the get-up-out-of-your-seat track, 'The Life'. Over a slick falling bass line, the duo shows off their prowess in Big Boi style. Sly verses busting in to a gospel clap-along chorus. 'Euros' plays out over a sparkling diamond backing track, like Kanye circa Late Graduation. 'Betrayal' is the hottest track on the album. 3 and J. trade off verses about getting taken advantage of by even your closest friends over a classy, understated, airy synth. The song boasts easily one of the catchiest female-sung hooks of the last five years courtesy of Taylor Raspberry. I found myself going back to this one over and over.
Lead single, 'Hands Up' is a straight up party anthem for the summer. A little too far in to the EDM world for this writer but this bombed-out, mainstream dubstep chorus will surely be setting off parties all season. 'No Lie', the album's second single brings back the R&B touch. Deft rhymes and that chill West Coast chorus.
The old barriers of Hip-Hop are fading away. Styles are no longer stuck in one city. If they had, rap would be on its last legs by now. Project's like 3Bubble and J. Grey are tying the communities together and opening up fanbases to extend from sea to sea.