Mixtape Review-The Good Vibe Tribe by Audio Push
The Good Vibe Tribe mixtape is as close as I am going to get to a return trip into LabCabinCalifornia. Pharcyde were so special because they managed everything, they were passionately fun, aggressively lyrical, excellently produced and always experimenting. Audio Push don’t just give off that feeling they actively create it this time. For fourteen tracks this mixtape feels like two projects because it has two projects worth of written verse, songs that bleed over into 7 or 8 minutes long without you ever regretting it.
If I was to pick at it I would want much less of the end-of-song-spoken-word. Most of the time they don’t come across as Kendrick style poetry but real raps delivered acapella. I’m a curmudgeony song’s over next song type and would rather cut out any stray stuff. That being said Oktane and Pricetag are beasts and give more than enough for me to enjoy with memorable lines that don’t even hit you until the third or fourth listen. I can skip to the next song no issue.
Hit-Boy is still a guiding force, producing or co-producing five of the fourteen tracks present on The Good Vibe Tribe but the high profile beats aren’t really the draw. When Cardo and Hit-Boy team up for Sweep it’s a pretty basic second single strip club song (the interlude at the end is a smoked out conversation about the D.W. Griffith film Birth of A Nation and might be more interesting than the song which definitely contradicts my complaint about end of song non-song material so that’s how reliable I am). Normally (also co-produced by Hit-Boy) has a hypnotizing pace even though it covers largely the same material. All throughout the production is clean and crisp so the worst you’ll get are songs with well-constructed raps over professional beats (that will never have you lamenting mixing issues) that you don’t connect with.
Audio Push doesn’t traffic in digestible deep penetration hits. My favorite song is track five: Mary Jane & Sixty One Impala. The sweetness of the love ballad to dank is so well done and the transition between the two songs is great (Sixty One Impala starts with a blast of funk and the words “I need the James Brown light right quick, Roger Troutman to write my sh#t, a hit wick to ignite my spliff, and some college girls to come supply my fix…”) but most of all its one of those songs I heard and felt like I’d always known. Under the good vibe they supply is a righteous indignation, a secret they know that they feel none of us do…and it’s how good they are. This is a mixtape that vibes out but it ends with Peace Pipe, a vicious attack on rappers that suck. It’s a problem they spit out all throughout The Good Vibe Tribe and it traces back to the love of the craft. The welcoming Native Tongues vibe of Bonfire (thank you Coryayo) not just in production but saluting peace and happiness directly in verse still takes time to obstinately state “don’t play this on the radio” affirming that being this good validates itself. Don’t go up to Audio Push and tell them they should be as popular as ___ they don’t need that.
While the familiarity of Mary Jane & Sixty One Impala is my favorite it’s not the peak of the party. Audio Push repurpose Westside Connections legendary track Bow Down and throw everyone on it with them. What comes out is B.O.W. Down where Oktane sounds his happiest and Fat Trel gives one of his very best performances alongside Turtle Nojoke, Seriious, T Clacc & B-Nice. It’s a monster moment you can’t replay enough.
If Audio Push demand anything it’s that you always watch for the difference between people who love the art and people who don’t. Ice-T called himself just a hustler but he was lying he loves the art from coast to coast and beyond and Audio Push do as well. They don’t need to say it, the right ear can just tell.
stream or download The Good Vibe Tribe below: