Duck Down Records have proved time and time again that they are the premier Hip-Hop label. You could go further and say that they are the Def Jam Records of this era. Their roster has expanded past the Boot Camp Clik members to include albums from artists like KRS-ONE, Kidz in the Hall, DJ Revolution and B-Real. Adding the group Random Axe is just another sign that Duck Down is serious about real music.
Random Axe is the collection of Brooklyn’s Sean Price (Heltah Skeltah), and Guilty Simpson and producer/rapper Black Milk from Detroit. For a group of guys that are not even from the same state, the members of Random Axe are a perfect fit.
The album opens with Zoo Drugs, a computer keyboard sounding instrumental filled with seemingly random vocal snippets, and it sets the tone for the whole album. Black Milk shows his skills behind the boards by producing the entire album. Random Axe keeps it extra fresh with an array of sounds; from the Liquid Swords sounding Never Back Down, to the vaguely West Coast sounding Jahphy Joe.
In case you were wondering, the rhymes are dope too. Sean Price brings his smack you in the mouth style, which you can check out on his solo joint, The Karate Kid. Guilty Simpson comes with the slow flow on songs like 4 In the Box. The first single, Random Call features the trio rapping on a cool piano filled Black Milk beat, who is nice on the mic too with lines like “Who ahead in the race? Past em’. Head now smash em’. It’s the head banger, no asprin”.
Other stand out tracks include Another one (featuring Detroit’s Trick Trick and Rock from Heltah Skeltah), Monster Babies and Black Ops (featuring Fat Ray).
For hardcore Hip-Hop fans I can’t think of a better album to start the summer off with. Random Axe is killing it.
Random Axe’s self titled album is available now and they will be appearing at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival and the Rock the Bells tour.
CraveOnline Rating: 8 out of 10