It is time for my review of another Banger! This Banger! Coming by way of the greatest city on Earth, which is often described as a large fruit, for reasons unbeknownst to this native. I should be rewarded for using that word. Just saying.
The Underachievers, or U.A, have only been making music since 2012, but quickly burst into the East Coast hip-hop scene releasing their first mixtape that same year entitled “Indigoism”. A talented hip-hop duo out of Brooklyn by way of Flatbush, the duo of Issa Gold and AK now have 2 official albums to their misleading name all under Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, their debut album “Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium” came out in 2014. U.A is also one of the hip-hop ‘teams’ that comprise the Beast Coast crew with fellow Brooklynites Pro Era and Flatbush Zombies.
The Underachievers sound is an eclectic mixture of trippy beats that sound like 90’s video game music with a strong hip-hop influence, but the beats can vary from soulful to hardcore to conventional, seemingly at the blink of an eye. Lyrically the duo likes to speak of their existence in an ‘enlightened, elevated state’ from psychedelics while spreading a great deal of knowledge through the majority of their songs speaking on the empowerment of their generation. Free thinking, altered mindsets, self-empowerment, all packed into good songs.
“Evermore” has the usual U.A sound with strong content and stronger production, which makes for more ‘WOW’ power in their psychedelic beats. This project has the components a great album should: hard beats, good message, quality in quantity, overall meaning, all while keeping to the style that brought them this far in only 3 years time.
This album has a great premise that would be lost on those who just heard the individual songs in a different song order, which is why albums should be appreciated. The album stays true to the name and design; the album is split in half in terms of instrumental type and mood. U.A’s album is divided into “Phases,” Phase 1 starting with the first track of the LP, and Phase 2 starting with Track 8 finishing up the end of the album, switching almost mid-song. The different phases combined with the album cover possibly portray the duality of man, being the concept of Ying and Yang, good and evil, body and spirit. In this case U.A speaks on their acknowledging of both sides, how they mirror each other and how they can exist in both worlds in their enlightened state they refer to throughout their songs, being able to see the truth of the world with their ‘third eye.’ I have my own interpretation of the meanings, but I would encourage anyone else reading to have their own opinions.
My respect is to them for using their art as it was intended, as an expression of the artist’s soul as well as to inform while entertaining the listeners. Much respect to those who want to better themselves and others through music, knowledge is the greatest gift. Fans of hip-hop would do well to have this in their collection.