Friday, September 23, 2016

Audio Push play it safe on debut album, '90951'

90951 by Audio Push
Don’t confuse Audio Push’s debut album, 90951, with Jay Rock’s second LP (90059) because while they both look the same, they both provide two different treats for the ears. Jay Rock’s sophomore feels a bit more embedded in the grit of the L.A. street scene whereas the long awaited 90951 album from the Inland Empire dynamic duo covers the greater diaspora of their Southern California brethren and community. Most importantly, now is the time for Audio Push, not their contemporary, to shine the most. Oktane and Price of the celebrated unit, though products of their hip-hop influences and environment, join their young progressive peers already making strides in the game with this mellow meditation that challenges the intense industry of modern society.
Before loosening up at the end, A.P. ponder what made them and how they want to help shape the world for future generations. Single mother-managed households are cleansed with “Ghetto Fabulous Filtered Water” in the opener before the regionally anthemic “Leftside” provides the time and place for the guys to dodge attempts by the powers that be to puppet-string them in the cool breezy “Control Us.” In fact, that is generally what the whole album is, cool. It’s too laid-back to be an overt protest LP, but the cool wisdom definitely goes some ways. Who knows how much more vanguard 90951 could have been in its ideologies had it not tried so hard just to be so stylish.
Audio Push have more or less saved themselves and their chances in this debut, and yes it is a lot of what we’ve already received from other new age artists, but it’s good and solid for what it stands for. The two emcees have started to enact a worldly change from within themselves, mentally, just as they should, even if they’re still holding on to one or two problematic tenets of the establishment (car love, the force of habit to keep pumping dollars into the system, etc). 90951 doesn’t shout revolution but tosses it around, more accurately, in a chill underground circle that includes Musiq Soulchild, BJ the Chicago Kid and Kent Jamz among a few others. This is a disc that transfers you into the spirits of Audio Push. Just beware that the lifestyle might feel a little borrowed.
3 out of 5 stars

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