This album has a lot to live it up to by its name and by the name of the group. This Is The Dope must be pretty sure of themselves to choose the name they chose. However, after I found out who the members were I was convinced that I would be partaking in a unique experience and I was right. The group includes Black Spade (whom I was a fan of previously due to his work with Nicolay and his To Serve With Love project), Teresa Jenee (whom I fell in lust with after hearing her Electric Yellow LP), and Indiana Rome whom I was previously unfamiliar with.
The St. Louis natives provide a spacey/futuristic sound that is reminiscent of early Outkast. In fact I Big Boi and 3-stacks would be perfectly at home on this project. Theme music is a funky intro to the album, reminds me of Weather Report but with a more modern feel. The tracks has great swing and could even stand alone as something solid as well as tie the project together.
3013 is probably my favorite track on here as it shows the best from all three contributors. RAMP comes to mind when I heard the intro and when the beat dropped I was definitely nodding my head.
Muse is absolute soul music with trap undertones, can’t say it was one of my favorites but it isn’t skipworthy either. This track is more Indiana and Spade than anything, the lyricism is there and the beat is there. Solid.
Keep Pushin’ belongs where it is and I see why the song is on the album, to showcase a different vibe. It is slower and more inspirational but I didn’t much care for it as a whole.
Rideout/Mirage is my second favorite track on the album. The beat is outstanding, the arrangement is stellar. The piano chords in the background grabbed my attention but the beat definitely gets you on your feet and moving. I listened to this track several times but kept finding myself skipping to the 4:29 mark to hear the break of Rideout and Mirage where Teresa Jenee takes over the track with some soulful vocals. The ENTIRE track is dope but almost 8 minutes long so I was skipping the first half of the track due to impatience not due to any lack of quality.
The vibes were quite nice and out of the three I think Ms. Jenee stood out the most to me (maybe due to my crush). Never hearing Indiana Rome before, my first impression was his flow is a lot like Ludacris’, which is not a bad thing. The Southern roots are very very strong. I was a big fan of Spade’s rapping on this, but his singing really had me wincing at times. The production is strong in this one.
The project is definitely worth listening to and I enjoyed it overall despite most of things I didn’t like about it. As in all of my reviews, I really try not to be biased and just give my opinion on the album without dissuading listeners from giving it a rotation so take everything said here with a grain of salt.