Jul 22, 2009 - 6:21 PM
Don't look now, but Pacific Division is on the rise. Pac Div, as they're called by many, just dropped a new album, Church League Champions, on July 17th that incorporates many of the key elements of hip-hop. The first track, "We the Champs," infuses back-to-basics beats, innovative lyrics, and basketball in a way not heard before.
This album was my first taste of Pac Div, so I didn't know what to expect when I pressed play. However, when I heard the jazzy beat of the self-titled "Pac Div" and the smooth flavor of "Whiplash," I knew that Pac Div was one of those diamonds in the rough. Pac Div definitely knows how to switch gears within an album as well. The gritty, bass-heavy sound of the interlude "Underdogs" was a refreshing change of pace and the sped up sound of "Back," the final track on the album, left me wanting more of Pac Div.
Although I love the flavor of this album, I wasn't pleased with how often the n-word was used in the rhymes. For example, in "Never," the chorus features the word repeated; it completely puts a damper on this soulful and emotional song. If Pac Div cut down on their usage of the degrading language that has plagued all of hip-hop, the this album would definitely be a classic.
However, Church League Champions is still a great album, even with the language. The rhymes are innovative, the beats are on point and catchy, and the songs are definitely worth turning an ear to. Pac Div deserves all the respect they can get, because unbeknownst to the mainstream crowd, they're setting a new standard for hip-hop.
Taj Simmons, aka the Boy Wonder, is a recent graduate of the Bay Area Multicultural Media Academy. In his free time he freestyles, plays baseball, and searches for a good glass of horchata.