Unearthed: Flatbush Zombies— D.R.U.G.S.
Posted in Unearthed
The Other Side of the Coffin
Flatbush Zombies consists of three young brothers from Brooklyn: Juice, L.S Darko (pictured above) and producer/rapper Erick Arc Elliott. Since hearing their buzzworthy single "Thug Waffles" at the beginning of the year, which earned them a feature in The Sources’ Unsigned Hype, we've been eager to hear more from these eccentric rappers. Thanks to their recently dropped debut mixtape D.R.U.G.S, we now have a gateway into the minds of Flatbush Zombies. Stuffed to the brim with fragilely fixed flows from the trio of writers, D.R.U.G.S is best described as the magical musical offspring that Heltah Skeltah and Cypress Hill would create.
Although the sex and drug talk is heavy, anyone who writes Flatbush Zombies off as another ‘stoner rap’ act is gravely mistaken. The mixtape is intimate and it’s carefully crafted with sultry sixteens and is scarce on hooks. Darko said in a recent interview with Mass Appeal that the Zombie life is “The death of the old consciousness, we trying to start some new shit, the indigo children, we trying to open niggas minds.” They cleverly compound creations by infusing the textbook with the rhyme book to get lyrics like “The universe is my shit, knew it since I was a zygote.”
D.R.U.G.S is hip-hop horror put together smartly and it’s evident from the first listen that the group is passionate about the sound they want to present. As D.R.U.G.S moves along it evolves creatively. The beats and rhyming styles get more complex as they introduce electronica and heavy synthesized production. The mixtape has high energy; it’s graphic without being trashy, hood without being ignorant, and addictive like the first high.
The production sounds how great intimacy feels and pushes normal and safe out of the way without loosing one element of hip-hop. D.R.U.G.S is deluged with the wicked vibes of a graveyard. "The Fun Song" for example is so creepy and aggressive that it could be the background music for a violating sex scene. "Devil & Us" mixes gospel vocals with a psychedelic, strobe light beat and throughout the mixtape we get several pious points, song titles and samples. It’s interesting that when you are always getting high, it results in a lot of religious thinking. D.R.U.G.S is the perfect example of those thoughts with lines like “God hates you and he wants you dead,” and “Fuck religion because religion is division.”
Songs like "Remember, I Got Money", "Laker Paper", and "S.C.O.S.A" have Houston’s chopped and screwed flow, but surprisingly, it works for these New Yorkers. "Mary, Nothing Above Thee" is a smooth stoners’ anthem that deserves a spot in the top ten toking songs of the decade. D.R.U.G.S takes our minds on a trip that consistently improves and it will easily flow into different music crowds, just as drugs do.
It’s also nice to have three outstandingly creative rappers rather than a horde of hoodlums hovering around a good rapper. All three members have mic skills that you can expect to see featured on other rappers records soon. Juice is working on a project with A$AP Ant, Elliott has a mixtape set for an August release while Darko’s solo track "Face Off", is featured on D.R.U.G.S.
Flatbush Zombies commented the release of D.R.U.G.S via their website, saying “We made this over the past two years in a tiny ass bedroom studio...no labels telling us what sound to create..none of this was made for the love of [money] just for the love of LOVE itself.” The outcome is dominate, doleful beats and eerie arrangements that inspire visuals of The Carter that Bookie described to Scotty Appleton in New Jack City.
Flatbush Zombies are not about drive-thru sixteens, fast raps or quick cooking sing alongs. They took their time with this dish and the outcome is delectable and delightfully devious. With its eldritch lyrics and intoxicating instrumentals never mind what substance you fancy, D.R.U.G.S is determined to satisfy you.
Below, stream Flatbush Zombies debut mixtape D.R.U.G.S, and download it now for free here