Emcee Jabrjaw (AKA Ryan Britt) and DJ Dee Dubbs' (birth name: Dan Wilkes) debut full-length album Eastern Specifics poises the duo as South Florida's very own Eric B and Rakim. Because they've worked together since 2006, it would seem like the wait for a final product from the Lake Worth duo will pay dividends to local rap fans.
The 14-track record comes with a killer groove and a laid-back drawl that harks back the golden age of hip-hop. Jabrjaw's higher-pitched, liquid-smooth, effortlessly cool flow stands front and center here,
drawing inspiration from late '80s/early '90s boom bap kings like KRS-One and EPMD.
Dee Dubbs flexes his muscles on the ones and twos -- especially on "Crackin' Skulls," a turntable piece that consists of two minutes and 18 seconds of maniacal scratch work.
A limber party vibe runs deep in the record as well, driven by skilled mix-master Dubbs' use of classic funk and R&B samples. Ode to suds track "Barley Malt and Hops" would not sound out of place on an early Beastie Boys effort, with Jabrjaw professing his love for "microbrews" and "stank weed."
Jabrjaw and Dubbs also go slow and low, taking it down a notch on soulful slow-burner "Songs Like These," a track that is to be released as a video in the coming weeks.
The record is available for purchase now on iTunes.
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Perhaps one of the tracks that pays the most homage to the boom bap era with its needle-to- wax magic and snappy snare drums. Jabrjaw also lays down his verses with magnificent ease, sounding like he is in freestyle battle mode against R.E.K.S. (Show Off Records) and newcomer Kylla Bus -- two other MCs who make guest appearances on this spunky jam.