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Mechanical Royalty

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Album Review

Babbletron's Mechanical Royalty finds Brooklyn's Jaymanila, DJ Pre, and Cool Calm Pete working similar sci-fi grooves to their friends from Def Jux — dark samples, snaking basslines, and disturbed beats abound. But Jaymanila and Cool Calm Pete seem a little more laid-back than the average Def Jux rhymesayer, as much A Tribe Called Quest as Aesop Rock. "Beware the black monolith in deep space," they drop on the MF Doom-produced '70s space-age funk number "Space Tech Banana Clip" — the record's most unique and instantly accessible track — sort of the screenplay to the brilliant Blaxploitation sci-fi flick that never was. It's a good indicator for the whole album — creative, surprising, gritty, New York through and through, but with a strangely balanced sense of humor and futurism launching it into tomorrow.


Formed: 2002 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

With a sound distinctly New York City, Brooklyn's Jaymanila, Cool Calm Pete, and DJ Pre, Babbletron create human hip-hop narratives — at times conversational, at times broad and cynically political — but always underscored with dark samples and a dry sense of humor. Babbletron got down to business in a well-hidden Bushwick warehouse. With their isolated recording location, the group was able to ignore the distractions of the city and push each other to make energetic and original hip-hop...
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Mechanical Royalty, Babbletron
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