Busdriver – Jhelli Beam
About 10 years ago, I saw Busdriver open for the Living Legends at the Glasshouse in Pomona and I actually bought a cd-r of “This Machine Kills Fascists” from Busdriver himself after the shows. I was amazed by his lyrics and delivery, it was dope how fast he could rhyme and the beats sounded pretty sick as well. Unfortunately, the CD I bought was a bit of a let down, his live performance just didn’t translate as well to CD. Having witnessed firsthand just how great he is live, I have followed his career and picked up each album, just waiting to find that recording that captured it.
Sadly, “Jhelli Beam” is not the album. It’s a great album, filled with excellent production and Busdriver out does himself with lyrics and concepts, but it just doesn’t capture me the way he did live. Musically it ranges from indy boom bap to hipsters electronica. The standout track is “Your Least Favorite Rapper”, which features Nocando. The clash between Busdrivers rapid fire delivery and Nocando’s more traditional flow works well over the stuttering electro beat.
As I said, great album if you like avant-garde, experimental music, pick it up, just be sure to catch him live as well.