Friday, April 27, 2018

Album Review: Vacation In Hell

wtf did I just listen to?!
"An album better than KOD. Vacation in Hell x Flatbush Zombies.", is what my cousin's Facebook status read. And always looking for new music, I immediately added the album to my streaming library for a later peep. Glad I did.

But first, a bad joke:

A J. Cole fan, a vegan, an iPhone user, and a native New Yorker walk into a bar. Who speaks first?
(source: random Facebook status I didn't even bother to like so I can't give proper props)

If you're reading this then you probably already know that J. Cole dropped his new effort, KOD, on 4/20. My Facebook timeline was 50/50 on it as I managed to play through it no more than about 5 times, which was more than I played 2014 Forest Hills Drive and 4 Your Eyez Only, combined.


Don't get me wrong, "No Role Modelz" and "Deja Vu" are classic tracks but 'eh' with the albums. And I can feel you shaming me for not diggin' J. Cole. Stop it! "Just because it's positive don't mean it's something I feel. Keep it real." - One Be Lo, "Follow My Lead".

So while I thought I was feeling KOD a bit, after only listening to the first two, yes, first TWO tracks off Vacation in Hell I knew I was kidding myself about KOD. I was taking multiple spins through KOD to hear what J. Cole was saying. But I've had Vacation in Hell on repeat simply because I want to feel it over and over again. It's dark, it's light, it's reflective, it's dope.

And it made me realize something else, I haven't heard any remotely grimy music since Graveyard Shift's unreleased Still Waters album. Or, to keep it to official releases, since Lord Have Mercy On My Soul by M.T. And Vacation in Hell brought back those vibes for me. That gritty sh*t. If you plug this in the aux cord then you and the crew are probably not going clubbing or bar hopping. Ok, I'll give you a dive joint but only if it's after hours.

And to boot, there's even a legit B-Side to the album! Like, who the hell are Flatbush Zombies?! Coming with thorough ass 19 track albums making [insert your favorite rapper]'s efforts look like mixtapes. It's like that. I have a short list of about 5, maybe 7, albums that I can listen to start to finish without skipping* and Vacation in Hell just made its way on it. I won't even bother trying to single out particular tracks because they all contribute to the vibe of the album and it's the vibe that I'm diggin'. #LetItRide

Finally, and most importantly: I bought it. So, it's going to be a really good summer thanks to Flatbush Zombies. Cousin, you came through clutch and don't even know it.

* - Witchdoctor A S.W.A.T. healin' ritual and Diary of an American Witchdoctor , O.C. Jewelz, Crooked Lettaz Grey Skies, Killah Priest Heavy Mental and Psychic World of Walter Reed (P.W.O.W.R.)**, Spark Master Tape Silhouette of a Sunkken City, Flatbush Zombies Vacation in Hell

** - it's a 41 track double album!

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