Potluck - Rhymes and Resin
Record Label: Suburban Noize Records
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Over the last decade, the marijuana movement has received incredibly overwhelming support. Sure, the debate is still ongoing, but at this point, there aren't a whole lot of people who don't partake in that particular extracurricular activity. With this movement, pot-influenced music is expected, but Hip-Hop especially has made plenty of albums with pot as the theme, or at least a not-so-subtle secondary theme. Potluck continues this trend, but also manages to fuse real life issues into it. Every single song on their newest release, Rhymes And Resin, reflects something to do with pot or real-life issues, or a mix of the two.
Opener "Wake-N-Bake" is exactly what you think it is. Heard in the background is the obvious clearing of a bong. It's an extremely entertaining and relatively short opener with some killer beats to go along with it. "Light That Shit Up" includes some semi-comical lines ("I get so high I could shake hands with Jesus") or hilarious lines if you're high yourself. That's the real thing with this album and albums like it: if you're not one to partake in the cannabis smoking, you won't find much joy in the more pot-themed songs. "My Movie" is a major highlight, featuring some fairly awesome movie references (who doesn't watch a bunch of movies when they're blazed?).
At 20 tracks, the album may wear out its welcome quickly with some fans, but I genuinely enjoyed mostly every track on the album. "Forbidden Love" is a great track, containing no weed content at all; it's just a very heartwarming love song. "I Am T Pain" and "Joe Brown: The Life Coach" are two hilarious inserts that, considering how much I usually loathe talky tracks in any rap that's not Eminem, really impressed me. "Runaway 2 Getaway" includes an acoustic guitar opening and some very impressive singing vocals. These guys really blow away any misconceptions first-time listeners may have when looking at the name of the group and the album.
Hip-Hop is certainly a genre that's very hit-and-miss with me. Sure, artists like Kanye West and Eminem usually never fail to impress, but too much of the lyrical content in most of the mainstream Hip-Hop is just plain silly in my eyes. I admit I was immediately unimpressed with the name of this group, and the album. I almost didn't want to listen. What a shame it would have been to miss this, however. Potluck have constructed one of the better albums this year. It definitely has silly pot-influenced rap, but more importantly it's the tracks that don't cover weed that will leave you stunned. It's the songs like the aforementioned "Runaway 2 Getaway" and "Forbidden Love" that impress, and songs like the absolutely incredible "I'm Different" that will make fans stop and realize that these guys have so much more depth than even their name may suggest.