Typically, it seems as if the first quarter of the year is littered with “easily forgotten” releases, whose inclusion(s) from so-called “best of” year-end lists is often commonplace in Hip Hop. However, the duo of DT and AmDex a.k.a. Atlanta’s (by way of North Carolina) very own Clan Destined have debunked the theory of “the best releases only occur in the fourth quarter”, with their release of “Self Titled” which drops this Sunday, the 22nd. Having first appeared on my listening radar in March of last year with the release of “A Story Never Told”, Clan Destined set the tables for what we could expect on their next “official” LP with tracks such as the thumping, Floyd The Locsmif-produced “Bone Gristle”. Carrying on the tradition of Organized Noise, Outkast and Goodie Mob, Clan Destined and their new offering “Self Titled” succeeds in taking you back to 1996 when “Soul Food” and “ATLiens” could be heard blaring out of nearly any Alpine from the East to West Coast.
You may also very well recall Clan Destined from their 2007 releases “Abbracadamn!!!” and ’07 also saw the release of “And For Our Next Trick” which was part of the Rawkus 50 campaign. Yet, with the release of “Self Titled” Clan Destined, along with the likes of fellow ATLiens Illastrate, Arablak, Boog Brown, etc. are primed to bring the A-T-L back to the forefront of Hip Hop, similar to the form in which Detroit has strived over the last few years. Yet while the Outkast and Goodie Mob influence is very obvious on tracks such as the Truth BeCold-assisted “Bad News”, I’d best classify Clan Destined as a equal mixture of Outkast and dead prez. Don’t get it twisted, AmDex and DT have adequately blazed their own path with this release, but I’d be lying if I didn’t mention the comparison of the two aforementioned duos, and in due time, maybe we’ll see Clan Destined join them. With a quality, almost flawless release as “Self Titled”, it will be sooner than later.
The album’s first single, “Show Your Lighters” (featuring Rita J, Ozy Reigns & Ka’Ra Kersey) is an adequate “warm up” single selection for the LP. However, just to nitpick, while still dope (“Lighters”, which clocks in at just under 5 minutes, is just a tad bit lengthy), I would have much rather heard a track like the Methuzulah-featured “All In It” or “What You In It For?” as the proper jump-off for what will go down as one of the year’s best LPs. At 22 tracks deep, with only one real interlude (“The Language, Part Tw0″), “Self Titled” is a daring, unpredictable venture filled with positivity, social commentary, unforgettable production and even playfulness, as witnessed on the “dead on” New Jack Swing-inspired “Your Favorite Song” (which, by the way, whether intended or not, is one of the LPs best tracks) as well as “The Cookout” (Parts One & Two).
AmDex and DT compliment one another very well on this outing, flashing moments of sheer brilliance on tracks such as the Illastrate-produced thumper “Livin’ Thru” (on a side note, stay tuned for my take on Illa’s recently released instrumental LP “Eddie Coleman’s Friday Night Theme Music” in the days ahead..) and the numbing, goosebump-inducing finale “Far Beyond”, which pays homage to the deceased with a strong lyrical performance from one who was gone way to soon, Jax. Also of note, it is equally impressive that the duo also handled the majority of the production for “Self Titled”.
I can’t explain in words just how much I LOVE THIS ALBUM, even 22 tracks deep “Self Titled” never grows tiresome. I’ve played the LP at least 25 times front to back since Friday and it grows better with each passing listen. I’ll admit, I can’t remember being this spoiled this early in the year with fresh releases from the likes of Clan D and IMAKEMADBEATS. So, be sure to scoop this album of via Clan D’s Bandcamp this Sunday and just sit back and vibe out as “Self Titled” takes you on a funky expedition, and a small taste of just what you can continue to hear from one of my new favorite duos in Hip Hop!