Junk Science

Feeding Einstein (Embedded Music)

The hip-hop of everyday life is rare these days--that is, unless your "everydays" are spent hustling, bullet-dodging and achieving mythic sex. For the rest of us, an unpretentious record like Feeding Einstein is just the prescription. This Brooklyn-based collaboration by MC Baje One and DJ Snafu is full of funky, tuneful samples, sometimes diced up beyond recognition--garage doors? telegraphs?--and sometimes readily identifiable--Kinks, Beasties, some old Muscle Shoals, but don't tell the label's legal dept. --but all reconfigured into meaty beats and unashamedly catchy choruses. It all sounds so dusty and scratchy that one suspects the conspicuous manipulation of vinyl surface noise, rather than the real, incidental thing. In any case, what anchors all this junky glory down to earth is Baje One's wit ("We're here to liquefy that ice/at a special one-time buy-back price") and honesty ("Spent my whole childhood trying to be somebody else"), delivered clearly and fluidly with tons of character. In "House Wigger," he navigates the racial issues that white rappers love to ignore, without sounding like either a wuss or a bellicose jerk: "'Bla-bla-bla-bla, Mike is a Wigger,' I'm just tryin' to make my worldview a little bigger." And that's rarer still.

 
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