Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime: SomeOthaShip

The family affair continues with this duo's fourth release since July, this one more of a compilation that ties up some loose ends and keeps the public momentum going strong.

Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime


Label: Mello Music Group
US Release Date: 2010-02-23
UK Release Date: Import

Once referred to as the female Madlib, the past year has seen Georgia Anne Muldrow embrace more than just Otis Jackson's off-kilter style. She is beginning to embrace his qualities of prolificness and diversity as well. Fans and newcomers alike best be prepared for SomeOthaShip sonically, if nothing else, as the Radiohead circa-Amnesiac synths of "WhatCh'allKnowAboutThis?" signal yet another step forward for Muldrow and Declaime's ever-evolving empire of hip-hop funk. But it's not just Georgia who's on a roll here, though she does have plenty of other highlights, like the instrumental "Pad Kontrol", the faux-symphonics of "fOnk w/ an O", and "Endure", or Holy Smokes transplant "Boogie".

What initially puts this release in a different position than Muldrow and Declaime's last few projects is the heavy amount of collaboration. There are predictable allegiances on display, like Stones Throw's MED and Roc 'C', as well as fellow soulful rappers Kazi and LMNO. But there are also left field inclusions like Kool G Rap (though his verse is one of the weaker available on the disc) and Prince Po that lend a bit of golden era credibility to music that is largely considered an outsider's scene.

But the real decision of note here is to let other people attempt to not only act out G&D's vision, but set the stage as well. While Oddisee's remix of "Get Up" (originally found on his own Mental Liberation) is a bright and summery jam that takes steps to improve upon the already solid original track, the other offerings from folks like Black Milk, Flying Lotus, and Oh No do a good job syncing up with the rest of this album's thick, dark political funk vibe. I don't recognize LD's name, but his remix of "Heaven or Hell" corrects one of Georgia Anne Muldrow's few wrongs, rescuing Kool G Rap's verse from awkwardness and simply being doper than the O.G. For his part, Oh No doesn't one up Muldrow with his version of "Endure", but as usual he does a good job stirring water cooler debate on the subject.

So, the production is tight, and the vision is still there. The names are nice and G&D still show signs of progress musically. Still, something seems off with this one compared to their last few releases. Part of that has to do with the compilation feel -- after the two Black Milk joints, "Heaven and Hell" is jarring in a way I haven't come to expect from Muldrow's work lately. And beyond mere sequencing issues, as I mentioned before, "Boogie" (and the detached skit that becomes "Outro") and "Endure" and "Get Up" have also seen the light on albums proper, so fans of the artists involved here will find some retreads.

I also take umbrage with Declaime here on some tracks, most notably "Shine On". What would otherwise be another addition to Black Milk's collection of certified bangers is instead trampled under the feet of Declaime's somewhat obnoxious and hard to follow ranting about wiggers. Usually I'm on board with fOnky Dudley, as my track record here with his recent work proves. But he detracts from songs about as often as he adds to them here, and for the first time feels like the handicap some sectors of the hip-hop world have branded him. Yet this remains another worthy addition to both artists' catalogs and does a good job tying up some of their loose ends, while offering a few worthy outsiders into their fold.


To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow shines on her impressive interpretation of Fontella Bass' classic track "Rescue Me".

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow pays tribute to the classic Chicago label Chess Records on her new album Playing Chess, which was produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini, and the legendary Betty Wright. Unlike many covers records, LeGrow and her team of musicians aimed to make new artistic statements with these songs as they stripped down the arrangements to feature leaner and modern interpretations. The clean and unfussy sound allows LeGrow's superb voice to have more room to roam. Meanwhile, these classic tunes take on new life when shown through LeGrow's lens.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.