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Expressions (2012 A.U.)

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Album Review

Referring to Dudley Perkins' second album as a more focused set of songs than his first wouldn't necessarily be appropriate. The "singer"/rapper, as ever, often sounds as if he's either rubbing or straining his eyes to see whatever happens to be immediately in front of him, whether it's a lyric sheet or a bathroom door. Expressions does sound like less of a slapdash experiment. This time around, Perkins is more about songs than merely showing up, and though the template is basically the same (he's nothing if not a product of his '70s and early-'80s R&B collection, and he's proud to let you know exactly that), he also lends more of his personality and might've even written some of his material while clear-headed. When he sings — he cannot actually sing — he has a funny way of being entirely appealing, even though he's not really trying that hard. If he tried hard, he'd sound ridiculous. And he probably realizes this more than anyone else, so he shuffles on with his ragamuffin funk, expressing his love for music, women, weed, and his god. Maybe it's the weed, but he prioritizes his loves in a peculiar order. Weed is first, his god is probably second, and music appears to be ahead of women. On "Come Here My Dear," Perkins slips in a punch line that would probably get him kicked out of bed: "Almost love you as much as this music." On "Dear God," the extremely funny and very touching finale (aided by eerie, heartstrings-tugging backing), Perkins asks his god of all the usual stuff and then happily confesses that he's going to remain high as long as possible, "So when the rain comes down, I won't feel a thing." The strangest moment of all is the lone skit, in which Perkins and his girlfriend recite a domestic violence scene as if they're reading a transcript from an episode of Cops while completely blown out. Once again, Madlib provides all the bleary, bumping productions and proves to be Perkins' ideal collaborator.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

Dudley Perkins began rapping in 1987, though his debut for most hip-hop fans took place in 1995 when he was featured on a track from tha Alkaholiks' Coast II Coast (as Declaime). Affiliated with the group of rapper/producers who made waves later in the decade as Lootpack (including Quasimoto and Wildchild), Perkins wrote a few songs and, with Quasimoto at the boards, recorded an ode called "Flowers." After Stones Throw mogul Peanut Butter Wolf heard the acid-soaked R&B jam, he released it on 7" as...
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Expressions (2012 A.U.), Dudley Perkins
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