Maybe it’s just me, but all this cold weather is making me wish for a few weeks at a sunny beach. I would sip my beer, feel the sand in between my toes, and play some feel good rap music. After scrolling through a few Spotify pages, I run into Warm Brew and their newest release Ghetto Beach Boys. Like the waves, it starts to wash the stressors and worries from my life. It practically begs you to forget about politics and focus on relaxing.
One of the most relaxing feelings in the world is the sway of the waves. The ebb and flow resides in your body hours after you’re out of the ocean. The album’s instrumentals manage to capture this exact feeling in the album. The album starts out with swooshing synths and subtle bass kicks in “Loose Ends”. Immediately after follows the quintessential beach party beat: deep 808 hits and skittering hi-hats under a simple hook. This pattern continues to develop throughout the album. Just like the ebb and flow of the ocean, it sway back and forth from chill-out beats to feel-good party tunes. This is all a set-up for the main attraction of the album: the flow.
An album like this can easily fall short. You’ve heard it before: the album’s beats coast smoothly, but the verses fall into the same rut song after song. However, Ghetto Beach Boys manages to dodge this bullet by featuring a variety of emcees. The staccato delivery in “Hold on to Her” sits in nice opposition to the Snoop Dogg-like delivery on “In a Bottle.” After a few listens, the beats start to fade into one another. I can’t say the same for the verses throughout the album.
Mind you, this is an album meant for you to sit back and relax to. If you’re looking for an album that defines the trials and tribulations of a culture, you’re not going to find it here. Scroll up and take a look at album art. You’ll see an overwhelming feeling of relaxation. That’s what you’re supposed to feel when you listen to this album. The instrumentation and the lyrics all do exactly that. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.