Artist: Living LegendsTitle: Legendary Music, Vol. 1Rating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Matt Crawford
“Legendary Music, Vol. 1” (Legendary Music) picks up where the Cali underground crew the Living Legends’ previous release Classic left off. It’s a good collection of songs, but after a couple of spins there’s not much shelf life.
The album has its gems. The Grouch’s “Artsy” offers a humorous critique of our often more-righteous-than-thou brethren and sistren, who frequent specialty grocery stores, eat tofu and make their own knit caps. A well crafted previously unreleased Three Melancholy Gypsys cut, “2010,” features a familiar rock-solid sample from Nirvana’s catalog. And, the album closes with a new joint from The Grouch and Eligh, “Remember Who You Are,” done much in the spirit of “Never Fallin'”.
But, the underlininh question that has to be asked is: Is this 11-track “album” really worthy of a group that is celebrating its 10th anniversary or do fans deserve more? Instead, of joining forces and collaborating as a unit, as was the case with Classic, each LL member opted to submit a track or collaboration (from within and outside the group, there are cameos from Slug, Marty James and Nesa Wright). In some cases, such as Sunspot Jonz’s submission “Kush,” the track appears on another release (his latest solo album Back in Black).
One has to wonder, are Sunspot Jonz, The Grouch, Murs, Luckyiam, Eligh, Scarub, Bicasso and Aesop still pushing the DIY envelope that they often claim they helped create for Hip-Hop musicians or are they resorting to a low-effort method of keeping their pockets full, while pushing a mediocre product? If they are truly legendary, it’s time to step it up.