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The Lonely Ones

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Album Review

Following their reggae flavored collaboration Lightning Strikes, The Lonely Ones finds cutting-edge rapper Aceyalone and producer Bionik absorbing Motown, soul, and doo wop, creating a dressed-up, jump-jive style of hip-hop that's so vibrant, it's like that Afrika Bambaataa and James Brown cut "Unity" but written by Smokey Robinson with production from Fatboy Slim. So distinct it'll wreck any mixtape it lands on, the brilliant "What It Was" puts a whole new spin on the "back in the day" cut with '60s background vocals and a fingersnap beat. The very Supremes "Step Up" with Treasure Davis is equal shares b-boy and beehive while the raised fist "Power to the People" features a Chambers Brothers-styled backbeat as it protests "The TV got me like Poltergeist" like it was Gil Scott-Heron for the Urban Outfitters crowd. If it all sounds too contrived and clever, but everything here sounds surprisingly natural, leaving only the 33 minute playing time and the lack of liner notes — where did all these horns come from? — as things to complain about.


Born: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A founding member of Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone played an important role in the evolution of left-field hip-hop on the West Coast during an era when hardcore gangsta rap reigned. Following the dissolution of Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone embarked on a solo career that never resulted in enormous success but did allow him to maintain his revered status within the West Coast underground hip-hop scene. He debuted solo on All Balls Don't Bounce (1995) and followed-up with A Book of Human Language...
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The Lonely Ones, Aceyalone
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