Harvest Time
label: lost koast
production: underrated, bosko, jeffrey simmons jr.
guest: e-40, bosko, living legends, tech n9ne, cool nutz, others.
year of release: 2004
 
tracklisting
1. Intro
2. Fight Night
3. Inhale/Exhale
4. Budget
5. Say What Ya Wanna feat. Tech N9ne
6. Let Loose
7. Freedom
8. Stand Up
9. Real Phone Calls (Insert)
10. You Ain't That Fine feat. E-40, Bosko
11. Do It Now
12. Sports Junkies feat. Equipto
13. Hip Hop feat. Living Legends
14. Smokin On A Blunt
15. U Don't Even Know Me
16. The Way It Goes
17. Live In Colorado (Insert)
18. Rap Life feat. Cool Nutz
19. Lovin' U
20. Just Like U
21. What Am I
22. First Kiss
Smoking weed is the second element of rap. Seriously. There's nothing else rappers rhyme more about (for the sake of argument, let's pretend they don't rap about sex, cars and shooting people). Judging from rap lyrics, there's no breakdancing, graffiti or even cutting - and how tragic is that? But there's a whole lot of smoking, rolling, passing and puffing. With an album called "Harvest Time", a name like Potluck, an artwork that shows more plants than the most dedicated rasta could smoke in a…uhm…week(?), you can tell that UnderRated and 1 Ton are dedicated connoisseurs of the sticky green.
So take that and take this: they hail from the Westcoast. From Humboldt to be more precise. Now, all you old geezers know, all you young bucks be told: there used to be a time when every region of America had their own sound. When listening to something, you could tell if they were from the East, the South, the Midwest or the West. Wow. Crazy, right? Not really. So saying that Potluck is from the Westcoast, that means to include both geography and music. What's not only good though.
Because by now, you're probably conditioned to prefer the watered down West sound, the somewhat traditional East sound, or the hype of the month South sound. Therefore some of the songs and styles on here might sound weird to you. Weird like every single lyric E-40 spits when you hear it for the first time. Who's obviously mentioned for a reason, as he's on the song "You Ain't That Fine", which also features Bosko. And this song is actually a good example, to get a glimpse of that trunk rattling funk that used to be so dominant in the West, that every song not sounding like this would stand out like a daisy in the Potluck plantation.
It also means that the synthesizers and keyboards reign supreme on this record. What at times makes the music - produced by UnderRated, apart from "You Ain't That Fine", produced by Bosko, "Stand Up" with Jeffrey Simmons Jr. and "Lovin' U" by Jeffrey Simmons Jr. - sound rather 'eeh' (like in the case of the "Intro") but at times as good as on "Say What Ya Wanna". This threatening little ditty comes correct with really fast verses, including the one spit by Tech N9ne. Another song where you can hear that these dudes are actually quite good rappers is "Freedom". UnderRated speaks his heart out on being a pale guy in this rap game. 1 Ton backs him up with rhymes on his own struggle. And all of that is done over a good beat, with an annoying recurring 'freedom' chant by X Tina, to still complete a good song. If this rhetoric surprises you, there's more 'conscious' material on "Stand Up" that is dominated by a loud guitar.
By now you're probably like: damn, wasn't this supposed to be about smoking though? Yes, it was. That you can get on "Inhale/Exhale", on "Smoking On A Blunt" and miscellaneous songs. But what can anybody say about Mary Jane that hasn't been said before? Exactly. That's why we shall focus on songs like "Sports Junkies" with Equipto or the surprise guest appearance by the Living Legends on "Hip Hop". It would have been more appropriate to call this 'featuring Mystic Journeymen', as luckyiam.PSC and Sunspot Jonz drop by. They spit over a nice and smooth ditty, with all expressing their love for 'Hip Hop', if not to even go as far as they are it and it is they. Or as KRS calls it: I am hip hop. The last guest on here goes by the name of Cool Nutz and he's on "Rap Life". Which is a song that's basically repping and boasting, with another not really necessary sung hook.
The previously mentioned "Lovin' U" features a really dope beat. But it's one of those songs that could be from anywhere: East, West, South, Midwest. It has a sped up hook, some lovey dovey rhymes, and is just a good song. But it's no "First Kiss", which again gives us that dirty funk.
Looking at that list though - East, West, South, Midwest - where's the North anyway? Would that be Chicago? Or, considering where Humboldt is on the map, could that be the North? Northwest? Is Humboldt too South to be Northwest? Heck, whatever. This is certainly not the most brilliant album on this planet, but it was a welcome reminder of how varied rap used to be. Heck, still is.
review: tadah
 
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