Song Review-R.I.P.C.D by Flatbush Zombies produced by Erick Arc Elliott
The easiest way to gauge the dopeness level of 3001: A Laced Odyssey by the Flatbush Zombies is to pay attention to the interludes. Listen to the gorgeous piano driven two minute suicide song Fly Away or the soulful head nodding Smoke Break interlude. These are precisely placed and carefully crafted; the interludes are the typically the last ratty concern of most hip hop albums; a funny joke, an angry voicemail from an ex (exception: the Lox had fabulous interludes/skits). They usually feel useless but EVERYTHING on 3001 belongs.
How was I to know? I turned my nose up at the Zombies from day one lumping them in with the NY trap movement. When the hype for their new album broke I turned up my nose even higher, they must all have it wrong, their interview on the Rap Radar Podcast made me reassess their whole catalog. They were thoughtful, authoritative and sharp, not at all how my mind had constructed them. After going back to their mixtapes it turns out I love everything they’ve ever done.
I have to appreciate producer Erick Arc Elliott who laces a tonal wonderland on 3001. R.I.P.C.D is a great example of a beat that is haunting, striking and minimal enough to be perfect for the emcee. It leaves space for Juice and Meech to go absolutely nuts with lines like “I want their head like Isis…I sit in silence speak in tongues and burn bibles.” These guys grew up loving Biggie but preferring the really messed up imagery, the moments where you were like “Did he just say that?” R.I.P.C.D is a song that well represents the album, it’s a smart commentary on the digital music age and what we lost but it’s also hardcore as hell with a dope beat. A win-win for rap fans like me.