In the scheme of intellectual, underground hip hop, it doesn’t get much better than Blue Scholars’ Butter&Gun$. Blue Scholars have found a way to hold true to their indie, conscious roots while adopting some of the blockbuster tropes of mainstream rap—most notably the massive amounts of auto-tuned production.
The EP’s opener “Loyalty” sounds like a Kanye West wet dream, latent with soulful choirs, vocorder interjections, and casual, delayed boom-bap percussion. And while the production on the rest of the tracks follow suit, the flows only get better. “Butter&Gun$ (Loyalty II)” sounds like a game of internal-rhyme bingo as MC Geologic spits, “They put us in competition to cause affliction with opposition / The friction is part of their fiction, they’re looking for pots to piss in / Watch the bosses up in the loft laughing, upping the cost of living / To cop a billion while the cops are killing ‘em off, women and children.”
But Butter&Gun$ suffers the same way most underground hip hop discs do: The sonics are undeniably impressive but very often, the lyrics don’t make much sense. Blue Scholars avoid most of these moments but still have their troubles. And though Butter&Gun$ is a great EP, it’s occasional stagnancy is somewhat disconcerting for the duo’s upcoming full-lengths. Though this is just about as good a sign as you can get.
// Sound Affects
"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.READ the article