The Hype: Getting over the hump on his 10-album endeavor, our Long Beach rapper-in-residence LMNO released his sixth aural offering alongside rastafied, San Diego rapper, Mr. Brady. Teaming up to record Banger Management (released July 6 on Up Above Records), we see LMNO finally working with a cat in the same state. Brady happens to be one of his dopest collaborators thus far--and that's not just West coast favoritism. A former recording artist for Battle Axe Records, co-founder of SD hip-hop hybrid, Deep Rooted, and beatsmith for artists like Killah Priest and Blu, his talents were bound to positively alter LMNO's hip-hop universe.
The Judgment: Blips, bloops and 8 bit-beats abound on LMNO's latest collab with Mr. Brady. Even though these aren't the sounds you'd anticipate from an album titled Banger Management, there are some odd and diverse beat structures, tailor made to create a soundtrack to your next video game/toke session. That's the best utilization we can think of for this album. Maybe it's because Brady sounds high as fuck during most of it. His loose baritone flows sit well in the lucid, Brick Breaker dreamscapes created on joints like "Original" and the aptly-titled "Arcade," featuring other (less impressive) verses by Declaime and MED. As for LMNO, is delivery is hit or miss. Buzzing, oddly timed beats tend to clash with his enunciated, herky-jerky flows.
Though Brady's production leans towards the pedigree of Flying Lotus, at times some of the boom bap elements fall into a sterile trend. The middle tracks bleed together into something you can't wait to fast forward. But the album finds itself again quickly, thanks to LMNO's razor sharp delivery of "Climate," which will snap you back to attention all the way to the album closer, "Hands-Up." We wonder why they save the one bass-rattling song that really bangs until the very end. But hey, at least it's there. Like we said, this is a gamer's album. You're gonna need a solid hour on the couch with PS3 controller in hand and a bong at arms distance to really get into it.