Slept on Saturdays: The Left, Gas Mask

When Hip-Hop fanatics talk about modern day underground classics (the last 10 years), they generally always mention a few albums: Blu & Exile, Below the Heavens; Little Brother, The Minstrel Show and Madvillain, Madvillainy. For some odd reason, I don’t hear anyone talk about The Left, Gas Mask; Journalist 103, Apollo Brown & DJ Soko crafted the perfect record with no filler and no throw-away tracks. I’ve been well aware of Apollo Brown’s skills on the boards for some time, but for unknown circumstances I managed to neglect Gas Mask when it came out back in 2010. This album has everything synonymous with a classic album: pristine production, raw lyricism and perfectly placed guest appearances.

Even though there are no lyrics on the album’s intro, it becomes blatantly obvious to the listener that they are going to be hearing quality music for the next fifty-six minutes. Apollo Brown’s production is like a hibernating animal; the animal doesn’t make much noise while it’s away during the winter, but when spring rolls around the animal comes alive. Usually every album has at least two or three beats that I generally don’t care for, but I can’t say that about Gas Mask; every beat is damn near perfect. Journalist 103 adds a heavy dose of reality and grit with his sizzling stanzas and steady stream of consciousness. I hadn’t heard of Journalist before this album, which comes as surprise to me because I listen to Detroit Hip-Hop so heavily, but I can assure you that I will be getting my hands on any material he puts out in the future.

In an era where the music industry is flooded with garbage and pollution from the world wide web, it’s no simple task to separate the good from the bad. Gas Mask is an album title that serves as a double entendre; it’s a pure Hip-Hop album with no dangerous toxins for the listener’s ears, and it provides a much needed breath of fresh air in a market flooded with pollutants.



One Response to “Slept on Saturdays: The Left, Gas Mask

  1. […] is yet another pivotal point in proving the validity of my convictions. Much like the album Gas Mask, Brown is able to fabricate an album full of gems that perfectly compliment the style of his […]

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