Nov 2, 2008 - 4:18 PM
Los Angeles transplant hip-hop trio Now On must have been obsessed with Disney’s Tomorrowland because their latest release, Tomorrow Already, could have been the soundtrack for the short lived sitcom Homeboys in Outer Space.
From the start, it seems that emcees IX Lives, Jackson Perry and DJ Haircut are hell bent on pushing the limits, opening with “Here,” a track completely sung in a blissful round. Yes, a round, but it doesn’t sound nearly as cheesy as the “Row, row, row your boat” version you learned in elementary school. While many rappers are turning out bass heavy speaker smashers, Now On is all about smooth grooves and spacey synthesizers.
They also put their crooning skills on display. The majority of the songs feature the emcees singing. “Marbles” has the strongest chorus and is the most melodic of the bunch. For most rappers (excluding Kanye), singing would be awkward and unnatural. However, it’s a gene that runs in the family. IX Lives is the son of Larry Demps of Detroit soul legends The Dramatics. “The A” is one of few tracks that resemble anything traditional hip-hop. In this shout out to their home town Ann Arbor, MI, Now On enlists the help of fellow Athletic Mic League comrade Buff 1. The bulk of the production was done by Haircut and the Lab Techs with contributions from Jake One and Astronote.
With serene beats and slick rhymes, it’s clear that Tomorrow Already is more about aesthetics rather than substance. It’s one of those rare occasions in music where that’s actually a virtue.
Download Now On's Don’t Call It A Mixtape, which includes rare remixes, freestyles, and previously unreleased tracks, hosted by DJ House Shoes. The mixtape features production and collaborations with Black Milk, The Lab Techs, Aloe Blacc, Buff1 and more. Download here: http://www.asideworldwide.com/download/dontcallitamixtape.zip
Kimberly Turner is Oh Dang!'s resident music critic and pastry fiend. And No, she's not fat.