Main Attrakionz 808s and Dark Grapes III
Published Jun 26, 2015Considered to be a crucial part of the rise of cloud rap in the early 2010s, Main Attrakionz were toying with the hazier side of the genre before Live.Love.A$AP caused its popularity to skyrocket. Early mixtapes from the duo, particularly the second instalment of their 808s and Dark Grapes series, are now considered canonical within the microgenre. Four years in the making, the series has now become a trilogy with the arrival of 808s and Dark Grapes III through Neil Young's Vapor Records. Yes, that Neil Young.
Flying high in the clouds once again, their focus is as sharp as ever. In returning from their four-year absence, duo Squadda B and MondreM.A.N. haven't lost a step behind the mic. While the two have never been lauded as top-tier lyricists, their liberal approach to flow and delivery keeps their work engaging, first evidenced over the skittering hi-hats on opener "Shoot the Dice." Writing rhymes together since seventh grade, their infallible chemistry as emcees was never in doubt.
A different chemistry that has grown significantly is the group's ties to production duo Friendzone, who produced all 12 tracks on the tape. Bringing a higher degree of polish to the table than past bedroom recordings, the duo also show off an impressive palette of sounds on their dozen beats, from interpolating melodies from obscure Japanese video games on "Green Ova Diamond" to channelling introspective moods on the oriental-tinged "My Story" and rising above cloud rap altogether with the hyperactive keys of "G.O. Style" and "Cycles." (Vapor)