A lot has been said about the demise of West Coast hip-hop over the past few years, or at the very least the absence of a true standout amongst the crowd. In an era where music is not only accessible but also abundant on the web, it seems like the world has been waiting for a new contender; scratch that - a new champion, from the far left. Enter Return of the Dream Team.
Comprised of Medusa (dubbed by many as the queen of the west coast and the Angela Davis of hip-hop), Ariano (emcee extraordinaire and co-founder of the Cali-based Technicali crew), and FLD (the talented duo of Dj Flict and LD, who have brewed beats for a wide range of talents spanning from Lauren Hill, GZA, Murs, and Jurassic 5), Return of the Dream Team is exactly that – an escape from what you’d expect and a journey into what you’d imagine; that is, if you were picturing a beastly union of hymnal-like sunshine shatter, microphone synergy in the same vein of EPMD, and the combustible sexuality of Diana Ross.
And let’s be clear – this is not some grandiose genre-busting mission statement; this is just music at its best – it’s undeniably timeless and totally progressive at the same time. And it’s just so damn West Coast it hurts.
With that said, how do you categorize an album that blends multiple doses of hefty-soul singing, brash microphone deliverance, and pulsating speaker-stimulants? It’s not easy, but that's the pleasure of this compelling collaboration. And the treats – well, they’re real treats.
The single, "Cali Quake", is a hit for all the right reasons – it’s a big, energetic anthem that’ll get all bodies movin’ and the dance floor jumpin’. The reggae-induced “Lover’s Hop” turns the topic of a cynical romance into a festival-friendly affair, and the hard-hittin’ “Roun D Outside” will surely have circles getting their “Jabbawockeez” on.