Over The Counter Culture
label: Up Above

production: Omid, Life Rexall, DJ Khalil, S-Ra Creative Partners, Babu, others.

guests: Busdriver, Jean Grae, LMNO, KeyKool, Die, Joe Dub, Lord Zen, others.
year of release: 2005
website: 2mexla.com
Once Again (Rock Rework)
It's All 4 You feat. Reese
Minors Into Fire feat. Busdriver
Gone 'Til Whenever
Big Beat Walkthrough feat. Jean Grae
Love Interlude
Dream Small
Love Interlude
So Many More Words
Interruption From The Lie Love You
I Didn't Mean To Touch Your Hand (Last Desperate Attempt)
Breath Of A Salesman feat. Jean Grae
14. S-S-Sorry feat. LMNO, Life Rexall
15. Everywhere Once
16. SonGodSuns At Night feat. KeyKool
17. Over The Counter Culture
18. Don't feat. Die, LifeRexall, Joe Dub, Lord Zen
  Gone 'Til Whenever
Sure, 2mex is a heavyweight - in oh so many ways. And just like the posse cut series of the same name, 2mex is a stellar leftcoast phenomenon, with well founded respect, founded on an extensive catalogue. Heck, 2mex must have performed on one of those Heavyweights tracks, and if not, something went plainly wrong. Part of the Aftermath, the Good Life, the Visionaries, the etc. etc. etc. crews, 2mex is one busy man, not only releasing one of the best albums last year (the incredible "2mex"), not only releasing a good album with the Visionaries ("Pangaea"), re-releasing the album "B-Boys in Occupied Mexico", he now pulls a Bobby Digital and reappears as SonGodSuns to unleash "Over The Counter Culture" in 2005.
One thing that thoroughly pleases us, that we find reunion tracks on here. By that we mean that 2mex called on Omid and Life Rexall for some beats again. While they did the whole "2mex", they do some amongst others songs. With Omid's sole offering being "Minors Into Fire", a track featuring Busdriver and these two great Los Angeles rappers step up over something that's more "Percussion Precaution" than "Ghost Memo".
Life Rexall on the other hand even stepped up his game. You cannot really say that his past songs were anywhere near garbage, but heck, he just offers some great gems on here. One is "Gone 'Til Whenever", a track where 2mex speaks about his extensive touring, talking about seeing the skies in Switzerland, talking about how good it feels to be on the road, with a hint of how good it feels to come back home too. The Rexall beat must be one of the favorites this summer, featuring a great sample, a tamed quirky hook and just an overall great sound. Decent, but not as brilliant is "Breath of A Salesman", while the different but very energetic "SonGodSuns At Night" severely kicks again, while 2mex spends the beat to flow. Yip, just flow. Along with Keykool who - as 2mex explains to us - stepped in for Busdriver, who wasn't around that day of recording.
Speaking of Keykool, he also offers beats. And he makes sure to not be outdone, as he hooks up one of the best with "Everyday". Another tale on love, lost love, bad love, good love, sour love, heck, if you can't say love, this album might be a little hard on you. On top of that Key also produces "Everywhere Once" - another great track.
One example of the flecked and flawed loves is on "I Didn't Mean to Touch Your Hand (Last Desperate Attempt)". This is actually a reworked version of the song as known from "B-Boys in Occupied Mexico". Here redone by DJ Khalil of Self Scientific who gives a good alternative version. In a similar vein of desperation is the stalkerish "Interruption From The Lie Love You" produced by Subtitle. While "Dream Small" has a very neat positive message of essentially "everyday all of my dreams come true / why? why? / because I dream small", over a nice and soft Sach beat.
Jean Grae appears on two tracks: the previously mentioned "Breath Of A Salesman" (one example where an artist states that he does mind the downloading) and "Big Beat Walkthrough" which - as explained by 2mex - talks about how Alex is afraid of big, you know as in huge, beats. So Jean is to walk him through what to do with such a DJ Khalil offering. Despite it not really being too good. Heck, 2mex says he's afraid of beats like this - we say he's not necessarily made for 'em.
But the good songs are kept coming, as both "Over The Counter Culture" explaining the whole concept of this album, and produced by Babu, as well as "Don't" by Deeskee and featuring Die, Life Rexall, Joe Dub and Lord Zen, must and will please you. "S-S-Sorry" is another track featuring Life Rexall, along with LMNO, while "It's All 4 You" features Reese. And both are not really amongst the best on here - even if 2mex says that the Sa-Ra Creative Partners beat on "It's All 4 You" is one of his favorites on the whole album. Sure, the beat is dope, but the singing is rather unnecessary if not annoying.
Now, we always quote 2mex on here. But how the heck do we know? The promo version of this album features an overview track at the end, where 2mex breaks down every song on this album. That's actually a great little extra and we should start a petition to have Up Above put an mp3 on their website. And maybe with a proof of purchase you can get that file. But even without the extra, make sure you get this album. Because 2mex - or SonGodSuns - is just a great artist making great music that cannot disappoint.
review: tadah
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