When one does not have an extensive background in the hip hop world, how do they approach reviewing a hip hop album? Well, they try the best they can. I am always open to trying my hand at a variety of styles, although I tend to stay within the confines of hard rock and metal. It's more familiar territory.
I first heard Potluck earlier this year when I went to see Twiztid in concert. They were one of the opening acts, and one that had not been previously announced. Potluck hit the stage with zero fanfare and proceeded to play a half hour set of accessible raps, kicking off each songs beat from a small player right on stage. I was duly impressed at the simple, old school feel of the beats and their down home, pot smoking, no pretension rhymes.
Potluck is comprised of 1 Ton, a heavy set African-American who specializes in laid back easy going flows, and UnderRated, a Jewish man who serves the role of producer and adds a faster delivery in contrast to his partner. The duo hails from southern California, Humboldt County to be specific. A location they are proud of, and even happier with the locations chief export, weed. They appeared on the underground scene about six years ago, releasing a few albums, including Humboldt County High, before making the label debut with this release on Suburban Noize Records (home to the likes of Kottonmouth Kings, Judge D, and hed P.E.).
The album has a raw, intimate feel to it. It is not overproduced, relying on more simplistic beats and rhythms to work with, while helping out their cred with the appearance of guests such as Tech N9ne, E-40, and Kottonmouth Kings. The album has a good flow to it. It is something that is easy to get into, yet I didn't feel a strong connection to it. Perhaps not being a weed smoker keeps this listener at arms length.