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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

DJ 2Tall Presents...Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow-Beautiful Mindz

Hip Hop is dead has become a commonplace nuance in discourse about the current state of rap music. Similarly, ingenuity in R&B has died down as well as it appears musicians (both rappers and singers) no longer carry the passion for their crafts that they once did. So, it’s refreshing to stumble upon a project like DJ 2Tall Presents…Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow-Beautiful Mindz. Each of the talented multi-faceted artists contributes their own unique ingredients into the cauldron to produce an effort that’s equal parts experimental, funky, futuristic, and free flowing.

“A Beautiful Mind,” the lead single of the album, has Dudley Perkins (also known as Declaime) and Muldrow pairing up to show their palpable chemistry. 2Tall provides a background laden with breezy flutes and a basic drum pattern suitable for Declaime’s free flowing stanzas that hit on varying topics including empowering the youth, inciting revolution and spirituality. It’s not until mid-song where, songstress, Muldrow displays the range and depth of her vocals on an extended hook. The formless structure of this track characterizes most of the album as speech transitions into rhymes and rhymes transition into crooning etc, etc. For instance, the duration of “Atall” has Declaime giving a revelations-esque spiel, claiming the end is near, in which his verse falls somewhere between an uptempo monologue and traditional rhyme spitting and eventually evolves into singing. The loose structure gives the album an organic and fluid feel. The instrumental interludes 2Tall provides weave the album together and illustrate his production prowess. On “Coils” 2Tall accesses tambourines and an active string section to make a unique concoction akin to something the RZA would have put together in his hey day. Muldrow’s appearances are few and far between as her only solo effort comes in “Ain’t That Strange,” a not so impressive rant about deceitful people who prey on others. This album is at its best when Declaime, Muldrow and 2Tall are all contributing on the track i.e. “Fonkwitme.”

Although Beautiful Mindz is an enjoyable effort that’s an alternative to the fodder currently out there, it does have its faults. At times Declaime’s subject content is a bit too abstract and comes off as hippie existential babble. Also, 2Tall’s beats at times become cluttered with too many elements. Personally, I’d like to have seen more of Muldrow who’s mostly reduced to singing bridges but for the most part, Beautiful Mindz is a seamless, invigorating outing that’s inspirational and innovative.

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