Busdriver & Radioinactive With Daedelus, The Weather (2003)
For the past three years, the L.A. hip-hop community has yielded some amazingly original rap music. By incorporating the Tourette-like contortions of early-90s heroes like Organized Konfusion and Freestyle Fellowship, kitschy jazz breaks reminscent of Prince Paul, and head-scratching, marijuana-induced blitzkriegs of free-association verse, they have created a relentlessly experimental movement and great albums like Busdriver’s recent Temporary Forever and Radioinactive’s 2001 effort Pyramidi. The aforementioned MCs’ new project is called the Weather, a moniker in the spirit of the light-hearted jazz fusionists Weather Report. Daedelus, who released his excellent debut Invention last year, backs the duo with tracks equaling their antics. “Carl Weathers’” collision of percussion and scratch guitar evokes Boom Bip’s junkyard funk aesthetic, while “Pen’s Oil” finds Daedelus splicing together advertising jingles with piano fills while DJ ESP scratches a vinyl recording of a wind-up toy. Though the sounds subtly shift from the lush downbeat exotica of “Germs that May Cause the Following” to the sparkling Latin jazz of “Weather Locklear,” the musical mood is a consistently whimsical backdrop for Busdriver and Radioinactive’s absurdities. The lyrics reproduced in The Weather’s CD booklet reveal most of the group’s songs to be nonsensical rhymes. Like e.e. cummings, Busdriver and Radioinactive indulge in stacking lines that make little sense beyond powering their vocals along Daedelus’ beats. Busdriver’s raps are less socially-conscious than his songs on Temporary Forever, although he usually manages to toss in opinions like “I’m the protestor of the oil-slick blunder/Whose gold scepter is his toilet plunger/Save the endangered fuzzy animals/From the pale-faced warmongers/Who just happened to be your forefathers,” marking out words like “happened” to rap in double-time to stay on beat. Hilariously, Radioinactive spends his time contradicting Busdriver’s occasionally linear thoughts, twisting the latter’s environmental concerns on “Pen’s Oil” into “I need to go inside of the store to get you some gum cause your breath smells like the Exxon Valdez oil spill,” reciting his words as if it was one long run-on sentence. The whole thing would sound quite silly if not for the trio’s imaginations pulsing throughout the hour-long disc. “The world’s just a placebo in my rusty gazebo” (Radioinactive) and “sucking the flesh-sculpted rubber duckie screaming mother funk me to the gutter monkey condemned beneath our mother country” (Busdriver) are just a few of many examples. Mush.