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RoadKillOvercoat (Epitaph)

Wednesday, Jan 24 2007
Busdriver's messages are easily relatable — once you decipher his vocal delivery. When the Los Angeles-based rapper presents his most rapid-fire rhyming, as he does on album opener "Casting Agent and Cowgirls," only those attuned to the flow of linguistic innovators like E-40 (the Bay Area rapper with the tongue-twisting jawbonics) can decipher the lessons at hand. Like 40, Busdriver has a penchant for underused or otherwise creative words, which creates confusion. But where his aural innovation could alienate some ears, taking the time to comprehend Busdriver is a rewarding venture.

Despite his language, Busdriver often has the average Joe in mind. When he sings "Recreational paranoia is the sport of now, so kill your employer" ("Kill Your Employer") over a bed of frenetic videogame bleeps, his postal rage is more of a common denominator than your typical tales of street thuggery. His metaphors for "the man" are also considerably smarter than what's typically on mainstream radio, which would never play a track as intellectually challenging as "The Troglodyte Wins." Subject matter isn't Busdriver's only departure from mainstream hip hop; RoadKillOvercoat embraces a soundtrack that blinks from techno to punk without losing continuity. It's a pleasantly uncommon effort that reveals more layers and flavors with repeated listens. Tamara Palmer

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Tamara Palmer


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