'Blowout Comb' is the embodiment of jazz rap. Released in 1994, one of the strongest years for hip hop, Digable Planets second album takes lush, stripped down instrumentals and pairs them with mellow nocturnal beats. Lady Bug, Butterfly and Doodlebug's rhymeplay is relaxed, conscious and poetic, and Guru, Jeru the Damaja and Sarah Webb's guest spots augment the whole midnight recording vibe. If you're into your A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, The Roots, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth and Common, then this rap classic is for you.
Vinyl Double LP £31.49 MCR905
Ltd reissue 2LP + poster on Modern Classics.
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9/10 Penrith Steve 29th July 2015
“Blowout Comb” is the second album by Digable Planets and was released in 1994. Their debut album, “Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space)” had done well commercially with singles such as “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” even winning a Grammy. Digable Planets were the new stars of hip-hop.
This gave them a certain amount of freedom, however. On “Blowout Comb”, they got more political and their sound was stripped back. Artistically it was a triumph, commercially it flopped. The record label weren’t happy and this caused a rift in the band – musical differences and disillusionment with the industry that had praised them in the highest way only a year earlier. They split.
“Blowout Comb” is great, from its stylistic cover to the very cool music within the grooves. They effortlessly fuse jazz and hip-hop using a mix of samples and live instruments. The beats and rhymes are consistently great. “Black Ego”, “Dial 7” and “9th Wonder” are the particular stand out moments although the whole thing is a great listen.
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