Damaged Good$

Last week, Damaged Good$ dropped its $pread Love Not Germ$ mixtape as a free download available at damageisgood.com, ending months of dangling the carrot in front of its fans. See, the mixtape was the culmination of a project that saw the duo hosting a charity show and releasing a single during each of the last few months leading up to its release. But it was more than worth the wait, as Damaged Good$ teams up with DJ Benzi and executes excellence here.

Hip-hop is changing, folks, and Dallas may just be one of the sparks for that to happen. Mixtapes like this are important to hip-hop—the entire genre was built on partying and exploring things musically that have never been done before (see: scratching, rapping, sampling). For a group like Damaged Good$ to come and do something totally fresh reminds listeners why they got into hip-hop in the first place. And the tape casts a wide net, including samples from indie-rock outfits like Crystal Castles, using Paul Wall-inspired screwed vocal effects, and even incorporating a couple of dubstep tracks—a vast departure from the mostly stale and derivative production that has dominated mainstream (and much of underground, even) hip-hop for years.

Make no mistake: $pread Love Not Germ$ speaks to hip-hop heads too. The lyrics are witty and skillful, yet the rappers' cool flow is unavoidably touched by the influence of the Dirty South.


Damaged Good$

Mainly, though, this is party music. It's quite easy to see how Damaged Good$ is one of the most fun groups—of any genre—to play in these parts. Elements from dance music mixed in such a way with hip-hop and indie rock samples is just a breath of fresh air. In fact, I don't think something like this has been done since, well, Dallas hip-hop group Sore Losers released its own Free Loaders mixtape back in December.

Hmm. Dallas may be on to something.


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