The Shape Shifters – Know Future (2xCD) (2000) (FLAC + 320 kbps)


Even by underground hip-hop standards, the Shapeshifters are a truly strange crew. For one thing, double-CD sets are usually the province of megastars like Biggie Smalls or Tupac Shakur, not underground hip-hop artists, who routinely shy away from such excesses. For another, the Shapeshifters eschew the usual jazzy beats that most indie artists love, replacing them with deliberately spacy, atmospheric electronics, heavily processed into something that sounds downright psychedelic, with occasional samples of ambient noises (like dogs barking) and swirling sound collages to add to the disorientation. (There’s even a straight-ahead thrash metal cut, “Gen X Oot All.”) It’s their lyrics and flow, however, that really stand out. Circus, the lead MC, has a flow similar to Del tha Funkee Homosapien, but with a snotty, smirky edge, and his lyrics are full of bizarre similes, allegations, alliterations, and jokes. Even Sole of Antipop Consortium, who makes a guest appearance, comes off as relatively sane amid all the idiosyncratic music. It’s all a bit much to take over the course of two discs, and Circus’ voice is an acquired taste at best, but the disc is so dense, and hits so many different styles, from spare minimalism to thick, high-volume walls of noise, that there’s bound to be something for any fan of underground hip-hop. Listeners should be forewarned, however, that this will take some getting used to. To the uninitiated, this will sound like an incoherent mess, without a center or constant theme running throughout the album. There isn’t even any unity, lyrical or musical, within the individual tracks themselves — within the same verse, Circus is just as likely to relate a trenchant political insight as he is to spit out a dadaist stream of nonsense words strung together. Know Future is as challenging and offbeat as underground hip-hop gets, but fans who stick with it will be rewarded with some of the most fascinating music around.

Tracklist CD1 – Primitive:

01 Rock Der Planet / Abundance
02 The Peoples Rally Of Area 51
03 Planet Rockers (Feat. MC Eye)
04 The Intellectual Holly Chessmen: A. Reincarnate (Feat. The Pedestrian)
05 The Intellectual Holly Chessmen: B. Man 2 Ape 2 Fish (Feat. Buck 65, Ras Hebrew, Sixtoo, & Sole)
06 The Intellectual Holly Chessmen: C. 666.Com
07 The Intellectual Holly Chessmen: D. LA 2 San Jose / Outer Most (Feat. Megabusive, Pilot Rase, & Tommy V)
08 The Intellectual Holly Chessmen: E. Let Da Good Times Roll (Feat. Gel One)
09 The Intellectual Holly Chessmen: F. Strawberry Alarm Clock
10 Girls Dipped In Chocolate
11 Pond Scum
12 The Calendar
13 Moses Freed The Slaves
14 Brain Fish Oner
15 Gotta Be Undastanden
16 Nimrod… Its Yer Birthday! – Prisoner Escapes (Outro) (Feat. MC Jackalope, & Sean Steel)

Download CD1:

FLAC – Datafile

320 kbps – Datafile

Tracklist CD2 – Future:

01 Give It To Me! (Intro)
02 Lojack Leviathan
03 One Percent
04 Pot Full Of Gold / OG (Feat. 2Mex)
05 Area 52
06 Squash Da Beef
07 Zumthing Different
08 Surf En Tsunamis
09 Beatle Borg / OG
10 Appoca-Palooza – Crop Circles (Outro)
11 Gen. X Dot All 6
12 Joy 2 Da World! (Feat. 2Mex, Megabusive, Pedestrian, & The Sole)
13 Robot Eye

Download CD2:

FLAC – Datafile

320 kbps – Datafile

One Comment:

  1. Fosterakahunter

    Sole was formerly with Anticon, not Anti-Pop Consortium.

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