Aileron – Flight Risk [Review]
Vancouver, BC – Every once in a while hip-hop manages to pull it’s head out of it’s own ass and smell the roses. It’s able to take a breath of fresh air and consider someone or something other than itself. On Aileron’s second official studio album Flight Risk, he has managed to bring true hip-hop to the surface and show us a a brighter, more intelligent side of it.
Take for example the lead single “Praise the Lord”. Hip-hop has never been good a being modest, but the trio from Kamloops have done just that and the result is a conscious, selfless view of life with a positive message.
“I take this moment, make it better so I gotta say/ All of those things you take for granted makes me wonder/ It’s like I’m feeling something bigger than just you and I”
The whole album has this feel of love and the intention to spread knowledge. So, yeah, mad props, boys. While everyone else is rapping about last night’s ass and alcohol they can’t even pronounce, Aileron are taking the bold step to be different and making it work in their favour.
Flight Risk is jam packed with first class instrumentation. Everything from live horns, electric guitars, bass, and strings appear on virtually every song and add layers and layers of depth and soul to the album. Guest producers Rob The Viking, Amp Live and Gianni Cash bring their own flavour and provide a lot of excellent drums and rhythms for the boys to rap to. It would be hard to classify this as a party album – a lot of the beats are pretty chilled out and make great use of atmospheric synths and pads. That’s not to say that they’re sleepers though, the arrangements will keep you gripped from start to finish.
Stand out tracks include “Whole New Page” which features ¡MAYDAY!, and “With Love”, but the album’s tone really climax’s with the song “I Forgive You”, which is a sort of narrative in first person where the emcee’s look back on their hardships and mistakes and make a vow to forgive themselves. This is some serious stuff folks, we’re talking like country-music-honest here, but seriously though. This is outstanding song writing.
“I forgive you for going too far and not waiting your turn, and choosing this cold life where bad karma returns/ It’s never too late, some people have to learn without help/ I forgive you because I love you, a letter to myself”
Or how about this:
“I forgive you, for thinking less of yourself, then holding that inside and turning it on everybody else/ It’s time to let it go, you gotta move on, I know you love to hate yourself but the past is done/ Let it go stop harbouring the hate, I’m learning to love myself and growing from my mistakes”
Hold up though. We haven’t even talked about the pop hooks yet. POP HOOKS! Yes. On almost every song. Flight Risk opens with a brief skit where an airplane pilot is announcing the pre flight schedule over the speakers and then drops right into the first track “Cloud 9” that might have you thinking “who invited the Backstreet Boys”? All jokes aside though, these guys love to sing. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. They hit the notes all right. But if you’re more of a Queens New York, Mobb Deep hip-hopper – Flight Risk might not be your brew of choice. Props again though, these dudes make it work.
There’s no shortage of pure wholesomeness to Flight Risk. They may not be the most technically skilled emcees ever to grace the mic – the guest features rap laps around their hosts with especially strong verses coming from Pep Love and Zumbi – but at the end of the day the effort and intention that went into making Flight Risk will not go unnoticed. Eros, Ascend, and Aesthetic Deliverance have crafted a gem of an album that not only sounds sonically outstanding but makes a strong statement for conscious, non-mainstream hip-hop. Genuine.
Written by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada