On paper, it all seems like it should work. Scribble Jam winner
MC Eyedea and DMC champion DJ Abilities are underground superstars
and have all the trophies to prove it. Firmly entrenched in their
role, they emit the righteous underground ethos that would be
expected from a pair so decorated on their latest, E &
Eyedea is undeniably a talented writer/lyricist and his ability
(no pun intended) to instantly switch between a coherent double
time flow and a casual delivery is at least extremely impressive.
Abilities’s scratching and production show moments of skill,
but are consistently underwhelming.
Throughout the album, Abilities attempts to splice in related
movie dialogue samples that match the song topic. Sometimes it
works, but mostly it comes off as annoying and distracting. A song
about relationships uses a sample from Kevin Smith’s
“Chasing Amy.” Yawn.
Eyedea moves away from the cerebral focus that wins a Scribble
Jam competition, and shifts directions toward a more bombastic
focus that is as unattractive as when Jay-Z begs for accolades in
the mainstream. The tracks that don’t strain to pat
themselves on the back move into the mundane regions of
stoner/slacker anthems that detail how jobs stifle creativity and
are evil. If only we could all quit work and become full-time
Like Sage Francis or Aesop Rock, Eyedea and Abilities would do
themselves a favor to embrace their natural leaning toward the
intellectual. On E & A they dumb down their potential
with B-boy rantings and lacking production.
Music Review: 3 out of 5 stars