Lootpack: Soundpieces: Da Antidote!

Lootpack: Soundpieces: Da Antidote!

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Lootpack

Album: Soundpieces: Da Antidote!
Label: Stones Throw

Alongside like-minded compatriots Tha Alkaholiks, Xzibit, Defari, and WhoRidas, Lootpack is part of a newly revitalized West Coast underground dedicated to creating original, lyrically inventive hip hop that's oblivious to commercial trends. It's a worthwhile goal, and in the hands of Xzibit and Tha Alkaholiks, it's also been the root of some extraordinarily fun and funky albums. Unfortunately, Lootpack's Soundpieces: Da Antidote!, while sonically inventive, is a bit lacking in the "fun" category. Produced by Lootpacker Madlib, mixed by former Kool Keith compatriot Kutmasta Kurt, and executive produced by Peanut Butter Wolf, Da Antidote! is a bit of a letdown, primarily because the band's relentless emphasis on keeping it real and defeating wack MCs gets mighty damn dull over the course of 24 tracks. Of course, Tha Alkaholiks made dynamite albums with a similarly narrow lyrical focus, but the difference between the two is that that group has a loopy, left-field sense of humor, while Lootpack MCs Madlib and Wildchild are grim and humorless by comparison. Doing battle with wack MCs is apparently hard work, but at least Tha Alkaholiks can lighten up. Madlib's P-Funk-inspired cut-and-paste production is impressive, with tracks stopping and starting and bleeding into each other, but inventive production only gets you so far. With the exception of "Likwit Fusion," a track featuring a marvelous cameo by Tha Alkaholiks, few tracks stand out, and that stellar guest appearance only illustrates what's missing from this well-intentioned but tiresome album.

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