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On Second Listen: G-Side – The ONE…COHESIVE

on July 23, 2011, 10:00am

With the help of collaborators like the virtuosic Yelawolf, and affectionate attention from various blogs, decidedly underground Alabama duo G-Side, comprised of emcees ST 2 Lettaz and Yung Clova, has been making a slow but steady rise up the ranks of Dixie rap since its debut, 2007’s Sumthin 2 Hate. Sporting an airy, synth-happy style which sounds rooted in the Dungeon Family’s bygone heyday, it’s hard to not like this two-piece, especially if you’ve ever been a fan of Outkast, UGK, or 8Ball & MJG.

Don’t expect to hear any “Int’l Players Anthem”s or “B.O.B.”s from G-Side, though, as the duo’s approach to rap is occasionally adventurous, but typically relatively fundamental. On their fourth album, The ONE…COHESIVE, they chronicle their up-from-nothing ascension with tales about everything from the narcotics-ridden ‘hoods where they spent their formative years to the recent plane rides they took to tour stops in Scandinavia. Whether each track was produced by Block Beataz, A-Team, DJ Burn One, or otherwise, the two emcees always exude impressive chemistry and fluidity, backing up the album’s titular claim that this is a cohesive effort. String-laden highlight “Came Up” is the best display of this, as evidenced by the verbal ping-pong played by Clova, ST, and guest S.L.A.S.H., who is one of several members of ‘Bama crew Slow Motion Soundz to appear here.

The album’s biggest defect is a common one: The hooks are rarely memorable, and sometimes drain the emcees’ momentum (save the infectious, Beach House-interpolating “How Far”). Even though this is indeed the biggest release for G-Side yet, it’s slightly spotty, and only features a couple of substantial highs. All told, it’s enough to solidify plans to follow the progression these guys are obviously on.

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