Vandal Squad

label: audio8

production: polyphonic, credo, maker

year of release: 2004
guests:, seel fresh IBC

side one: 1. Dee Tee's feat.; 2. Spanish Brown; 3. Vandal Squad feat. Seel Fresh IBC

side two: 1. Dee Tee's (Instrumental); 2. Spanish Brown (Instrumental); 3. Vandal Squad (Instrumental)
Pugslee is more than just one of many dope artists from Chicago. First because he already has a number of releases under his belt, because he's one of the more prominent rappers from the Windy, and because he does more than just rap (I hear he has a public access TV show). All of these facts make it even worse, that there's just something not quite right on the 12". Not because the songs are really stinkers, but because they sound kinda half motivated. Many of these beats are just draggingly slow.
Even the Maker song is not too good. And Maker is one of those unsung incredible producers that usually never fail. His work appears on "Vandal Squad" a song that also features Seel Fresh IBC. Listening to the beat, which features a guitar and definitely has the potential to grow on you, it only really starts to work once the chorus vibes come on. It's also a weird match to the secretive adrenaline rush of graffiti writer rhetoric. Pugslee takes us into that world with definite first hand experience. But if this is the pace he tries to outrun the cops, Pugslee's going to wear an orange jump suit pretty soon.
Nevertheless, this song is actually pretty good. The lyricism is on point and the Maker beat sounds better with every turn of the vinyl. However, things are rather downhill from here. What Polyphonic did for "Dee Tee's" is again to the slow side of things. And it's too simple too. The bass is actually really nice, but everything sounds incredibly hallow. Pugslee doesn't even get into a flow; the track never really seems to start happening. In many ways that's interesting because it is so very different. And the tale of po-po issues is somehow properly embedded in this strange structure. So if anything, it again will take some time to get used to it.
What leaves us with "Spanish Brown" produced by Credo. He messes a little bit with a sped up voice hook, puts a thunderstorm over the chorus, and messes much up in the process. The beat is much nicer through the verses where it also fits the love story told. Therefore this 12" really lives mixed feelings: Pugslee doesn't amaze but says good things, just not in the most excited kind of way. And the beats are just snoozingly slow. A couple of BPMs would have done this project good. Hmm…. let's see what happens when we use that pitch control of our trusty 1200s…
review: tadah
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