Birdapres Catch An L

Working-class rap hero and walking sample encyclopaedia Birdapres returns, and once again he's collaborating with production alter-ego Thizzy Asper, who backs Bird's blue-collar blues with a fine selection of mostly laidback grooves, heavy on piano and acoustic guitar, with even a couple of shorter tracks without drums or bass ("Queen of Heaven" and "The Princess"). Intro track "All Come Alive" could almost be mall music, aside from Bird's raps bigging up Thizzy. But there are also up-tempo tracks, such as fun posse cut "Bikes," with its Buck 65-ish chorus, the tango-ready "The Best Reuben" and "Raw Shit," a splicing of '70s psych-rock with '80s T.V. theme song. From maudlin and melancholy music to big and banging beats, Thizzy proves himself an excellent producer and the best match for Bird since Big Moves on Alleged Legends, and before that, RKV. As for himself, Bird is a traditional rapper with a simple, easy-to-digest flow and no pretensions ― all the better to deliver his regular Joe raps about relationships, media, capitalism, working a job to pay for rap and just simply rapping. For the latter, he gets an assist from Mike Ladd, Cadence Weapon and labelmates Speed Dial 7, Pip Skid, John Smith and Nestor Wynrush. Birdapres has come into his own as an artist, and with Catch An L coming so soon after the Thizzy-produced Toothpaste, here's hoping collaborating with himself and having an outlet like Marathon of Dope enables Birdapres to continue walking this path. (Marathon of Dope)