Crown City Rockers The Day After Forever

Crown City Rockers The Day After Forever
While there's nothing particularly novel about a hip-hop group using live instrumentation in this post-Roots era, Oakland, CA's Crown City Rockers may have set a new standard for the sub-genre on The Day After Forever. MC Rashaan Ahmad is a gifted, agile lyricist; he's able to tell stories and paint verbal pictures on songs like "Go Away" and just straight rock the party on upbeat numbers like "Break." Keyboardist Kat Ouano plays like a master, making the synths swirl upward one minute then creep and slink along the next. Percussionist Woodstock and drummer Max MacVeety manage to stand out by not sounding human at all. Instead, they team up to perfectly replicate the beats made by the drum machines that powered the hip-hop of the '80s. While their style may no longer be breaking new ground, Crown City Rockers have done something even more difficult: they've made an album where the listener never considers skipping a track. (Gold Dust Media)