February 19, 2018

Down South - Lost In Brooklyn (1994)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1994 Big Beat, Atlantic Records
Review by Matt Jost for RapReviews.com
Rap records are often very typical of their time (and anything but 'timeless'). It's hard to imagine Down South's "Lost in Brooklyn" being released after 1994. Here we have a group embracing everything southern, and where are they from? VA. Virginia may be 'down south' from a New Yorker perspective and it may be below the Mason-Dixon line, but it finds itself 'up north' relative to the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana. States that in the years to come would produce national rap stars such as JT Money, Petey Pablo, Pastor Troy, Juvenile, Bubba Sparxxx, etc. Their way was paved by a number of labels and artists, many of whom would also be part of the growing southern scene that rendered a concept act like Down South obsolete by 1995.
Still in '94 Down South had every right to exist as they presented a rural, southern alternative to the urban, northern way of life, both on a social and a musical level. To stress that Arrested Development beat them to it by two years would be failing to realize that Down South solely exist within that dichotomy. They purposely hit their heads against the New York city walls, in place of every out-of-towner who ever tried to make it there. "Lost in Brooklyn" is not only a symbol of the hegemony of the birthplace of hip-hop, it also implicitly represents the adventurous journey of generations of southern migrants/refugees/runaways who settled in the northern and eastern cities. Down South directly address those with family in the south, plus allude to having family further down south themselves (although no geographical denominations are given).
Down South's most prominent member is Shawn J-Period (not to be confused with DJ J.Period or with Shawn J of Field Mob), who would go on to produce for Mad Skillz, Bush Babees, Artifacts and become one of the architects of the Rawkus sound. Since him and partner Soda Pop share the same family name, we can assume they were blood-related (AllMusic says cousins). They could also originate from the same place (Richmond), including Myorr the DJ, whose family apparently accomodated the trio during its stay(s) in New York. Although the tape and vinyl versions of the album are divided into a South and a North Side, there is no sudden change of the narrative point of view. Things kick off with the self-titled "Down South," produced by South Carolina transplant T-Ray, the opening steel guitar sample soon making way for a dense Soul Assassins-type track. "Here come the hicks!" they chant, before staging some sort of barbarian invasion with violent imagery straight out of a backwoods horror movie. When Soda Pop argues, "Because the vibe down here is real / Take you five miles out, you'll forget that from-the-hood deal," he also throws down the gauntlet to the urban warrior who usually characterizes rap music. "Now you know country [niggas] ain't all about pickin' cotton," he concludes. Nevertheless they have to employ stereotypes, and they go all the way on "Southern Comfort." A perfect J-Period/Stretch Armstrong co-production, the track paints a landscape of pure bliss over which a siren saxophone beckons you home. Shawn J-Period heeds the call:- Read the full review here

tags: down south, lost in brooklyn, 1994, flac,

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