Definitive Jux Records
Sometimes when seasoned musicians and lyricists get together the chemistry is instant. Such is the case with Oakland-based super group The Mighty Underdogs. Comprised of Blackalicious' Gift of Gab, Latyrx's Lateef the Truthspeaker and Crown City Rocker Headnodic, The Mighty Underdogs is Definitive Jux's newest familial addition.
After releasing a five-track teaser aptly titled The Prelude EP, the boys converged again to put the finishing touches on their first full-length work, Dropping Science Fiction. For an album that sounds like it took endless hours to perfect, it surprisingly was written in just over a month. Whether or not that adds to the lack of cohesiveness of the album remains a mystery, but Dropping Science Fiction is certainly all over the place (though not necessarily in a bad way). From breezy, jazz-infused tracks to hard-rock backbones sprinkled with comical lyrics, each track has its own unique sound.
"The whole point of this record was to have fun with creative storytelling and add a lot of humor," Gift of Gab tells SFR. "A lot of our stuff is so serious. We've always been considered socially conscious and intellectual. But Lateef and I decided we'd paid our dues so we wanted to do a fun, fictional record."
The playfulness of "Laughing At You (featuring Casual)" and the Lyrics Born-assisted "Gunfight," with its Wild West feel, exemplifies The Mighty Underdogs' versatility. And on the subject of guest spots, this album overflows with incredible contributions from DJ Shadow, Damien and Julian Marley, MF Doom, Chali 2Na of Jurassic 5, Mr. Lif and Akrobatik.
Where this can sometimes take the spotlight away from the actual artists, it manages to add to The Mighty Underdogs' colorful catalog of material.
"It was an honor to work with Damien and Julian Marley," Gift of Gab says. "I idolize Bob and I don't idolize too many human beings—past, present or future, but Bob Marley is somebody I do. So to be able to work with his sons was definitely a blessing." Aside from its organized chaos, Dropping Science Fiction finds three hip-hop heavyweights freeing their spirits to make a solid album that brims with promise