Blunts & Roses Blunts & Roses

L.O.D. Development artists Absent Minded and iLLvibe come together for Blunts & Roses, an album that puts their vocals over hip-hop beats formed from familiar classic rock tunes. Inspired by the choruses of the original songs, the two MCs and a handful of regular contributors provide their interpretations. With covers of the Beatles' "Come Together," the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man," the album is heavily skewed towards slower songs. This allows for a lot of introspective – you could say, "emo" – rap songs and the chorus for Guns N' Roses' version of "Knocking On Heaven's Door" sounds just as good in a hip-hop song, even if it is pretty much a rap-rock ballad. The duo do increase the tempo a bit with their groovy cover of the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane" and a guitar-heavy cover of Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls," two fun, female-focused tracks. A few more of that variety would have been a welcome addition – one less bonus track would have been even better. Aside from "Swallowed," a terrible rock-rap original with shades of generic '90s alt-rock for the chorus, Blunts & Roses is an interesting experiment and a fun concept album. But can this group be anything more than a one-off project? (L.O.D. Development)