More Hip Hop which I can’t understand a word of, the ideal content for me to gain a profound understanding of, of course. Still, as is my usual view of these things, even with a genre so absolutely reliant on lyricism as Hip Hop there’s still something to be heard when it’s listened to almost as a purely instrumental entity. After all, good production can cover for the worst of Rappers but the best of Rappers will still lose out if he’s stuck with a bad beat. Music’s all about the feel, not the intellectual content. Which is nicely pretentious, no?
So, Efe Loco, Grande Exitos, is there enough of a ‘feel’ here to make the album worth a listen? Even for those who can’t delve into the lyrical qualities of it? Well, it’s certainly true to its geographical roots, to a certain extent at least. Hip Hop, more than most styles, does seem to be imbued with the stereotypical traits of its creators. Yanks with their bombastic, over compensating, aggressive style, Russians with their inherent darkness which borders on the Nihilistic and South Americans who either bounce around with crazed exuberance or come across musically as being so laid back as to leave you sliding out of your chair and into a crumpled heap on the floor. Efe Loco are close enough to these norms for there to be few surprises in the style and execution. The beats are steady and, if not relaxed, then at least not tense enough for it to effect the listener. The whole album is fairly consistent on that feel, at least consistent enough to make it more of a relaxed, affable listen rather than one which is going to command the attention of a roomful of people. No bad thing certainly, but not particularly earth shaking.
What breaks from the rolling, smooth beats that there are generally come in the form of minor peaks and troughs. Every now and then there’s an instant of something a bit more basic and raw, usually from the Rappers who whilst largely tied to the instrumental style do have their moments of passion.
Generally though there’s not much to say about this effort and there’s not much to either recommend or condemn it either. It is what it is and it doesn’t take much in the way of musical knowledge to predict what’s contained here; so unless you’ve got a fondness for Latino Hip Hop with a rolling, sedate beat then don’t bother downloading this. And if you do have a taste for it then bear in mind that solid as this may be it’s certainly not going to alter your perceptions of the sub-genre.