I Can't Call It: Directors of Photography: Dilated Peoples

Posted On Wednesday, September 3, 2014

There are too many mysteries of life out there floating around to even try to start to name 'em. But the one mystery that currently has me buggin' out is how SO many folk I know don't rock with Dilated Peoples! It started a couple of years ago when my dude (well, I won't name names and put nobody on blast) who couldn't stand these dudes and I always wondered, how can you like hip hop...and NOT like Dilated?!??! These dudes embody EVERYTHING about the culture! Two ill MC's, one of the illest DJ's on the planet, Ev & Babu are ill producers AND Alchemist damn near producing 50% of all of their albums...I mean, what's not to like? To be honest, I always thought my dude had to be just a blip on the radar because there's absolutely no way there could be other hip hop heads that don't like Dilated...right? Welp, obviously I was wrong because I've come across more folk who I KNOW without a doubt are die hard heads but aren't feeling Dilated at all...and I mean AT ALL! I can't call it cause I think Dilated is EVERYTHING that's dope about hip hop but to each his own. Regardless of what my folk think about 'em cause their new album "Directors of Photography" is easily one of my most anticipated albums of 2014, especially after their 8 year hiatus. But I won't hold you, I wasn't head over heels in love with their last outing, 2006's "20/20" but knowing these cat's pedigree, there's no way they could drop the ball a second time in a row, right? Naw, that couldn't happen...

"Directors of Photography" sets off with the Ev produced banger "Directors" which is REALLY crazy and has Ev setting it off with "first up in flight, like I studied Raliegh/same sky that I'm flying that got Buddy Holly/back from tour with the Brother Ali/on my fellowship sh-t pumping 5 o'clock follies/I don't say something, I got something to say/sometimes I'm colorful, sometimes I'm grey/we get cancer 20 times a day/we're just strong enough to brush it off and kneel when we pray" and the Rakaa checks in with the same flow to compliment Ev's verse, "first to light up the crumbles collie, I could skateboard but I could never ollie/forced to war like Muhammad Ali, melt time the Salvador Dali/the world spins through my lens, I'm focused now, thoughts wandering through my sins/fish eye, birds eye, view finder third eye/high definition, high resolution, words fly." I can't even begin to describe how NASTY the Alchemist produced "Cut My Teeth" is, Defari gets busy for a quick sec, "In Inglewood, I'm really good, in Venice I get plenty bud/these niggas think they're really good, reality they're really none, they really like my lil sons, they really like some lil bums/they not even a factor in this burn, they really got no run/Ruby drop a ton of rhymes, a ton of beats I'm known to eat, I gotta eat like Megatron on Monday night against the Chiefs" on "Defari's Interlude and "The Dark Room" featuring Vince Staples is another solid banger. The album's first single "Good As Gone" produced by Primo has that classic boom bap bounce to it and continues the Primo/Dialated collabo where "Clockwork" left off, the Jake One produced "Show Me The Way" feat. Aloe Blacc is flat out SICK and "Figure It Out (Melvin's Theme)" takes us back to '88 with jawns like DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince's "A Touch of Jazz" and Biz's "Cool V's Tribute to Scratching" where the crew would let the DJ gets busy on the 1's and 2's and this jawn right here helps to remind all of ya'll (cause I already know) just how nice Babu is on the wheels.

The Diamond D produced "Let Your Thoughts Fly Away" is ill and uses the same Mahavishnu Orchestra sample Dre & Vidal used on Jill Scott's "The Real Thing", the Oh No produced "Century of Self" give Rakaa the lane to let loose on his dolo cut, "it's a complete disaster, a glass ceiling and a greasy ladder/hit the leaders, strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter/demons playing God, born again or born in sin, more in danger when they seed the cloud with harp storms begin/some say it's fiction, some say Egyptian, others prayed with strangers, and they somehow traded land and culture for religion/slavery ain't a color, bodies for these private prisons/military biz is booming, private armies, pilot missions" while Ev gets his chance to shine dolo on the Babu produced "The Reversal", "that's my word, I met the best of the best, and let me tell you, they're herbs/I met the worst of the worst,and those were people to meet/it's like the game's all reversed, so I'm working on me/I'm miseducated, Lauryn Hill made it possible, undo anything  I've known becomes the obstacle." The Evidence produced "Trouble" is BONKERS and has an ill breakdown that'll have you singing Meth's "I don't look for trouble, I'm already trouble"line over and over again...trust me. The album ends on a dope note with the 9th Wonder produced "The Bigger Picture" but my fave track on the album is easily the Alchemist (I feel like quoting Mark Jackson with "mama, there goes that man again") produced "L.A. River Drive." The beat is just flat out CRAZY and with Rakaa spittin' "overstanders vs. overseeers, over seas or over here/classic overachievers, holding class for non believers/hold your pass at will call, biggest giants will fall, lighting bolt your ear like LT, but this ain't football/mid city magic, it's parades after the rat race, wreck the grand marshals, buffet until they stack plates, sparkling martial arts, heavy metal on the podium, head spinning like ceasar, no cardboard or linoleum" and Ev coming with "they watch our moves, every step becomes the cinema/with camera in the street lights, they city life I live it up/only my notable moments are here for the quoting, the rest are over, gone with the wind, it's like the cloud is blowing/but fuck it/the pen's in motion, like my Venice ocean, like my city done switched up, but I'm still devoted" it just leaves me scratching my head at how cats can't rock with Dilated...I mean, I literally don't get it. Bangers like this aren't just Dilated at their best but it's just PERFECT hip hop! And when do we ever get "perfect" hip hop in 2014? I'll tell ya'll this tho, after chillin' with "Directors of Photography" for a minute, this actually may be my new fave Dilated album knocking "Expansion Team" out the box. And 'll also tell you this,  I damn sure feel sorry for the cats who don't rock with Dilated cause ya'll are missing out on some REALLY, REALLY dope hip hop! Ace told ya'll already, "sleep if ya wanna!"

4 outta 5 mics

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