Published Feb 22, 2018Much has changed since Ann Arbor producer Tadd Mullinix dropped Two/Three, his second album under the moniker of Dabrye. Back in early 2006, OiNK was the torrenter's choice, Bush was in the White House, Saddam Hussein was still alive, and J Dilla, who actually appeared on Two/Three, had recently departed.
Jay Dee's untimely death knocked the wind out of the underground. It was a major loss for Michigan hip-hop and for the whole of music. His influence as a producer can hardly be overstated. Consciously connected or not, in the wake of Dilla's demise, Mullinix drifted off into other projects, releasing electronic experiments and collaborations under a variety of pseudonyms and launching a label.
A decade later, the mourning period is over. Mullinix is back rocking an MPC like Obama just got elected. The skills and wills of the Detroit area are on fire here. Smooth touches from Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Danny Brown, Shigeto and more grace a heaping helping of sharp, glitch-hop-tinged beats alongside sizzling servings from such superlative rap talents as DOOM, Jonwayne, and Ghostface Killah.
Granted, aside from a couple lyrical references, Three/Three easily could have been released back when Prefuse 73 was at his peak. Its production quality is equal to Two/Three, but it contains few surprises for older fans. As such, it isn't much of a progression, but it does feel greatly satisfying, and not only for the comfort of finally completing the trilogy. (Ghostly International)