Street Dreamz has been doing the circuit for quite some time. It was at the top on the Channel U chart for 16 weeks, this being the first place I heard the full track. And my initial reaction was, I guess, similar to a lot of people. What the fuck? British MCs sampling back in the day electro pop with such a full on, thickly spread, high cholesterol attitude.
So I kept my mouth wide open, but was unable to change the channel. And after hearing it a ridiculous number of times, it seems evident that I chose to listen to it a ridiculous number of times. Because although this really, really shouldn’t work on any level. It actually does. If you shut off whichever part of you it is that says no to sandals and socks, no to sandals at all… In a disturbingly original yet copyrighted way… it works. The daring approach of this track is what allows them to get away with it. You either flick hopelessly to hear it again or you pull the plug, and scream until your ears ring enough for you to get it out of your head.
Its success suggests that to those British hip hop listeners who are too fed up to even look past Channel U for new music, the ‘I Don’t Give A Mother Stickin Crap What You Think’ approach seems to make ears prick up. Possibly just to reward the guys for making life a bit more interesting, the response has been zealous enough to make it a request line favourite.
I can’t deny that both are talented MCs, with their own abrasive flows. Plus the ideas behind the lyrics are so relatable; you don’t particularly want to stop listening and nodding. However the same sample continuously stampeding through the entire track, with no real variation, an insanely repetitive drum beat and the most grating sound effects, does make me tighten my jaw somewhat.
I am by no means suggesting that hip hop artists need to limit their samples and inspirations to hip hop alone. As Lupe has proved to us among a throng of buck artists – expansion of influences equals evolution of hip hop. But you can’t just stick in the sample during your little daredevil moment and expect it to work with no further tweaking.
LStar’s previous mint work with Skinnyman and Tweeti’s annoyingly addictive spitting assures me that this will not be a one whack wonder. If anything, Street Dreamz has told to expect the unexpected of these guys. I can only hope that this open minded forward approach will leave us with some incredibly fresh and perhaps even history worthy records.
With their own lil Boy Better Know style t-shirt circulation I’m Doin It. The message is clear, if you love what they do, hop on board and do something too. If you’re not so sure, don’t give up yet as you may be surprised at what else they have to offer. And if you want to track them down and smash their mikes to pieces, you can’t possibly judge them on one track cause this one track is as far from generic, predictable and tone setting as they get. Well. At least they’re doin it.