ZZBRA – The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Album) [Review]
Vancouver, B.C. – Moka Only and Evil Ebenezer, two of Western Canada’s best MCs, come together to bring us ZZBRA : The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – theme songs to a movie that never was. Kinda weird, kinda cool. Aside from the monkeying around (sorry, I had to) with some wild animal noises throughout their intro, which is aptly titled ‘Intro’, and some archaic samples from jungle-themed movies peppered here and there, the safari and animalistic elements aren’t overdone. Instead of pushing gimmicks Evil and Moka stick to what they do best- crafting ill hip-hop. But these dude’s styles can’t be contained in solely one genre; they branch out and slay straight up funk and R&B tracks, no doubt due in large part to their producer Stuey Kubrick’s versatility with the beats. Rocking over some of his more soulful instrumentals the boys are inspired to go from crooning to belting it out to the back row, right back to kicking sick rhymes.
The first song “Let It Roll” has Evil and Moka doing their thing over a headbobber with big bass and big horns reminiscent of Pharoahe’s “Simon Says”. It’s the perfect song to set off the album as the 2 MCs introduce themselves. The following joint, “Green”, continues with the headbob factor but hints at the undeniable pop elements to come with its smooth catchy chorus. Only to be outdone by “Raisins”, which if I heard atoledo correctly has Moka rocking “Did you get the raisins I sent you?/ Did you get the fuckin’ raisins I sent you?” all casually delivered with an infectious melody. And then next up, hot damn, is “Number 1” (track #5) and it’s on.
Whatever Stuey Kubrick is doing, he’s doing it right. Warm organic sounds that are clearly (and I mean crystal clearly) digital and not analog; dude’s creating original melodies that sound like they’re classic samples. A feat not easily achieved. And good luck getting the piano melody from “Number 1” out of your head, it’ll keep your noggin’ bobbin’. The album keeps the bar(s) set high as it rolls along song after song and continues offering more stand-outs, like “Running Back”. With a sharp soul clap for a snare, gnarly bassline and a guitar solo during the outro that Hendrix would dig, this one’s a gem. Oh, and guess what, neither rapper raps on it. Nor should they, it’s a sick pop funk soul song and so our boys lace it as such. Pop stars in the making? Maybe not, but true artists these cats indeed are.
So, until ZZBRA hits the big screen you’ll have to put down the 3D glasses and pick up the headphones and cop The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. No over priced popcorn and sticky floors just sit back and relax and let the music be the movie.
Written by Jesse Furnell for HipHopCanada
Check it out HERE