(Photo Credit - Nick Fancher)
Advance Review - RJD2: The Fun Ones (April 17, 2020)
Columbus, Ohio native RJD2's new album The Fun Ones kicks off with a soulful track titled "No Helmet Up Indianola". Musically, RJD2 evokes a comp to Slightly Stoopid's more horn driven music, with tinges of hip-hop. The beats may seem familiar, but in their current construction are quite great.
"One of a kind" sticks out to me as great cruising music for those nights where you want to get out and be in the city. "High Street will Never Die" features some trippy timing but when it's all put together it works well. Around the 1:10 mark, you get pulled into an 80's electronica sound that appeals. "Pull Up One Love" is a favorite, with laid-back rapping over a classic sounding beat, it evokes the music of James Brown with the vocals of Chance the Rapper.
On "The Freshman Lettered", it takes about 20 seconds before a killer bassline makes its way into the song. On this song, RJD2 transforms his sound, so much so that it sounds like a completely different group. On "A Genuine Gentleman" Aceyalone raps over a beat in a manner that reminds me of Dr. Dre. Many of the beats present throughout the album evoke more classic hip-hop stylings typically found in 90's music.
Overall, RJD2 puts out a blend of modern funk and instrumental music, with some fantastic collaborations throughout for vocals. If you're a fan of hip-hop, funk, and great melodies with innovative beats, The Fun Ones is can't miss. It's also must-listen for folks from the heartland, as RJD2 throws in a ton of Easter Eggs about his hometown Columbus.
Rating - 4/5