The last time some dudes from Atlanta came to Minneapolis on this kind of scale, we wound up getting to watch the Greatest World Series of All Time. Not that Project Gampo, the new CD from one half of local hip-hop ruckus merchants Prof & Rahzwell, is exactly on some Jack Morris 10-inning shutout shit—it's more like the drunken free-for-all the fans threw on Carew Drive after Game Seven '91 ended. ATL's Beatchefs provide most of the record's production, and while there're moments that're unsurprisingly dirty and/or Southern—fat synth-horn hooks, thump-clap beats, and clicking snares permeate cuts like "Gold Teeth" and "Rolling Stone"—there's also a good number of regionally modular beats that could've come from anywhere, just so long as that place knew the value of slow-jam minimalist digital funk ("Ohh Baby"), upbeat '30s cartoon raucousness ("Move & Grind"), and the occasional hopped-up-waltz time signature ("Run Game").
Prof, meanwhile, teeters on the borderline between making any beat sound good and making it sound irrelevant. Sometimes he rides the rhythm so close it's like he's laminating it, and when he switches between short, emphatic phrases and effortlessly strung-together (yet still clearly coherent) fast-rap fusillades—check out the space-rap "Down to Earth" or the affably berserk boasting in "Run Game"—he sounds like one of the most technically skilled MCs in the metro. Good thing he's not so damned deadpan about it: Most of the rhymes on Project Gampo are delivered with a wired hyperactivity through what sounds like the impish grin of the professional shit-talker, and concern intoxication, girls, battling, and the crazy shit that happens when you indulge in too many of each. "I Dry Heave" is a hangover anthem without regret ("I'm a lucky fuck if I wake up on the same bus," he boasts/admits in between stifled gags); "Ooh Baby" details his bedroom prowess ("So holler back Miss, I see 'em as I call 'em/The only time I fuck up is when I'm on the bottom"); "Lost Cause" spits fire at whoever's dumb enough to step—by representing the "first click to make a name by whuppin' promoters' asses."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.