Junk Science: Gran’Dad’s Nerve Tonic

Following their critically acclaimed 2005 debut, Feeding Einstein, Nuclear Family members Baje One and DJ Snafu better known as Junk Science return two years later with Gran’Dad’s Nerve Tonic (Definitive Jux/Embedded). Featuring a brew strange enough that even Cream could appreciate, the Brooklyn duo dishes out a wittily intoxicating concept album.Maintaining their unique melange of dusty, lo-fi production, Junk Science cut and pastes together 14 concept driven tracks that revolve around the tonic mentioned in the title. DJ Snafu’s minimalist MPC work is one of the most charming qualities of this album. “Glass House” opens with DJ Snafu playing a violin sample backwards. As soon as he lets this sample play out, he gets to work on the MPC. Contrasting the tranquil violin lift with the hard-hitting MPC, Sanfu injects the sort of energy and creativity that is sorely missed in Hip-Hop. On “Do It Easy”, he blends up-tempo percussion with down-tempo melodic guitar playing. If Baje One’s message on this track was missed, the format of this unique composition clearly sheds light on theme that no matter how chaotic life gets, it is important not to get too strung out. Even though a listener could easily pull the theme of the song solely from the production, this isn’t to say that Baje One’s lyric are too obscure to understand. Rather than focusing on expensive jewelry and cars, Baje One rhymes about unemployment, the science of Hip-Hop, video games, drinking, and the importance of living in the moment. Baje One’s flow is so laid back and hushed it molds itself right into the beat he is riding. On “Jerry McGuire,” he provides the rules on how to quit a job. The third rule offers an example of his subtle yet effective word play: “And three this is important be sure not to give notice because they won’t give notice when they fire you and you should know this.”If an album’s only “faults” are that the skits should have been replaced with additional material or that it doesn’t fit the current pattern of glamorizing Hip-Hop artists, then the project not only is a success, but a move in the right direction. Gran’Dad’s Nerve Tonic isn’t an opiate for the masses but accessible Hip-Hop that everyone can relate too. SOUNDCHECK:

Junk Science f/ MC K-Swift & Cavalier “Glass House”

Junk Science “Jerry McGuire”

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