Words by Miss Krissy
Goodie Mob became a household name in Hip Hop after their first album “Soul Food” in 1995. Their lyrics — more times than not — were socially conscious tackling discrimination, racism and life in the ghetto. Some even credit them for being the among the first rap acts to bring notoriety to “the dirty South.”
The group, consisting of members Cee-Lo, Khujo, T-Mo, and Big Gipp, went on to release their second album “Still Standing” in 1998, which like their debut, also went gold (selling at least 500,000 retail units). Their third album, aptly titled “World Party” veered away from their previous style of socially conscious rap to adopt a more “pop” style. It consisted of lighter beats and dance tracks that didn’t bode well with lingering fans. They were seen as sell-outs and that album flopped, by industry and Hip Hop standards. As a result they were released from their record deal with Arista. By this time — their rap crew, The Dungeon Family — were seeing more success than Goodie Mob, which obviously left Cee-lo feeling like he wanted to go in another direction, and he left the group after their third album to pursue a solo career.
That move was perhaps the most important decision of his career.
Goodie mob went on to release their 4th album, “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show” in 2004, which featured a return to their original style. However, fans were not impressed with the lack of Cee-Lo’s involvement. That album also flopped.
Their 5th album saw the departure of Big Gipp. Khujo and T-Mo pressed on, releasing the album under the name The Lumberjacks which was the original name of the group before Cee-Lo and Big Gipp joined. The album was called “Livin’ Life as Lumberjacks,” in 2005. This album continued with their style of socially conscious commentary, although Cee-lo did not appear on the album. Big Gipp, however, returned for 2 tracks.
8 years later, all four members have reunited in 2013 and teamed up for a new album entitled “Age Against the Machine.” The album is infused with the rock ‘n’ soul that Cee-Lo Green — entertainer extraordinaire — encompasses as well as the dope lyrical content we all remember from the Goodie Mob.
This, their sixth release, takes listeners back to the good ol’ days of Goodie Mob. Socially aware lyrics coupled with staying outside of the typical format will surely make this a classic to those receptive to it. Each track flows effortlessly into the next and if you’re a lyrics junkie (like me), this is the album for you. Some of the beats are a little rock and roll-ish, which was an element I enjoyed because it’s beyond the repetition that rap music seems to love to wade in nowadays.
With features from T.I, Janelle Monae, Big Rube, and Big Fraze to round out the album, Goodie Mob has a pretty stellar joint on their hands, ready to be delivered to those who have patiently waited on the group’s return. The songs touch on various topics and while you’re bobbing your head, you just might learn something.
Rolling Stones writer Jon Dolan said:
- “CeeLo’s elastic hypeness defines the original lineup’s first LP since 1999.” In addition, Dolan noted that “The Mob are happily out of step with 2013 hip-hop, going so far as to have nice songs about women.”
Stand out tracks:
“Valleujah,” produced by Jack Splack carries a message of climbing your way out of something and persevering.
“Special Education” featuring Janelle Monae, produced by Young Fyre and QRocksbeat centers around being proud of being different when everyone wants to be the same.
“Ghost of Gloria Goodchild,” produced by Get Cool and The Grey Area is a shot at the importance of making those that came before us proud.
“Understanding,” Featuring V and produced by Floyd the Locsmif is a gracious ditty about helping their ladies understand the reasons they have other chicks. Their justifications to the their main woman are comical and entertaining, though.
“Father Time,” produced by Caviar and Oz is a bit of an homage to them being the originators of some of the southern rap and why today’s young cats should respect it and them.
The mixture of various artists and producers pull this opus together, turning it into a sonic kaleidoscope, the perfect landscape for the veteran group to actualize it’s thankfully imminent reunion.
“Age Against The Machine” will be commercially released on August 27th, 2013. If you are a fan of classic Hip Hop and a fan of Goodie Mob, there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy this album. Support good music, and it’ll support you, too, no?
Words by Miss Krissy