"Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez" by Felt

Felt
Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez

Rhymesayers Entertainment
2009

Review

Murs and Slug are two of the MC's that I feel are really in the prime of their careers. So to have them together again on this third outing for Felt was a huge welcome. However, this time they are together without super producer (IMHO) Ant and have instead relied on Aesop Rock for the production. Now Aesop Rock isn't really well known for his production acumen (after all, he has Blockhead to hold down the boards for him normally). Well, not only does Aesop Rock destroy those doubts but he helps Felt create one of the most sonically interesting Hip-Hop records of the year.

Them felt boys are back
Them boys of summer
And this time Ace Rock is the drummer
- Murs on "The Protagonists"

I love it when artists take big risks and it works out in favor of the fan. This is one of those moments. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the lack of Ant on the boards but Aesop Rock gives Felt a more spaced-out Def Jux vibe that runs almost counter to the jazzed out Ant production. This all serves to give the listener another side to Murs and Slug.

Murs and Slug are still at the top of their game. Even over Aesop Rock's dark production. Peep how they are just all over the beat on "Felt Chewed Up". Man, this is a ridiculous beat, seriously: bombastic drums and layer upon layer of electronic goodness and some excellent scratches.

Murs:

Caught up in the middle of some sentimental bullshit
Got an instrumental and I figure I can pull this
Day out with a dark cloud downtown
Stay out on the cloud on the sunshine
Our rhymes got a little bit more to give
Stay out and I stay on tour to live

One thing about Slug is that he is a great storyteller. Mostly he tells stories about himself, but in his latest work, he is starting to be less autobiographical and more of just a story teller. "Permanent Standby" is a good example of that.

Slug:

She came from the desert on a horse with no name
Half awake waiting at the baggage claim
The pain killer that she popped as the plain tore off ain't wore off
Little cousin picked her up in the pickup
And the minute she got in it he lit up a big blunt
Passed it to her
She made the end glow
Pull puff share
Staring out the window

Aesop Rock does it over and over again on this one. On "Bass For Your Truck" he brings out just a HARD beat (yes, caps are necessary). Seriously, and there's so much stuff going on in that beat. "Ghost Dance Deluxe" is incredible as well and gets my vote for concept song of 2009. Murs and Slug spin a yarn about falling in love with a ghost. I loved the concept because in a lot of ways aren't people constantly falling in love with things that don't exist?

I know there's no such thing but
Forget no such thing
I need a paranormal girl from an ethereal world

At 21 (!) tracks naturally there are going to be a few that aren't as interesting as the others. But if you want to hear some original Hip-Hop beats this side of P.O.S. and two great MC's at their respective best, this album more than serves it's purpose. Easily one of my favorites of 2009 (and it came out late in the year). The other effect this album had on me is it made me excited for the next Aesop Rock album - especially if he's doing his own production.

3.833 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Protagonists (03:40) 4
2. Felt Chewed Up (03:42) 4
3. Get Cake (00:56)
4. Bass for Your Truck (03:15) 5
5. Like You (03:27) 3
6. Permanent Standby (03:55) 4
7. Kevin Spacey (01:10)
8. Ghost Dance Deluxe (04:00) 5
9. Revisiting the Styleetron (05:15) 3
10. Whaleface (02:53) 4
11. Glory Burning (04:13) 3
12. Henrietta Longbottom (03:35) 4
13. She Sonnet (03:42) 5
14. Felt Good (01:26) 3
15. Deathmurdermayhem (05:03) 3
16. The Prize (02:39) 4
17. G.I. Josephine (03:34) 5
18. The Clap (00:51)
19. We Have You Surrounded (03:35) 3
20. Give It Up (03:46) 5
21. Paul Reubens (03:30) 2