Like the name of The Notorious B.I.G. song off the soundtrack to Who’s The Man? from 1993, party and bullsh*t have seeped out of that title and into the culture of hip-hop, becoming folklore passed down by rappers who just wanna have fun. Arizona rapper Futuristic with his furious styles and Brooklyn neo-r&b singer/rapper Devvon Terrell make for a popular punctuating pair in mainstream hip-hop; however, they like some in the past have allowed themselves to become victims of the tones and themes Big Poppa and The Last Poets earlier on (see “When The Revolution Comes”) were hinting at in their respective singles. The difference is that while Biggie, and The Poets by extension, seemed to be doing a cursory study of it as they were rapping about it, Futuristic and Devvon Terrell are playing it out in their verses, with a pop-music slant, and they feel fully committed to the more jockish, basic, hedonistic parts of its definition.
Much as a fancy gourmet chocolate has a hard outer coating and a soft middle, Coast 2 Coast (Dec. 25), Futuristic and Devvon’s first collaborative LP, reportedly on no major label surprisingly, has coarser subject matter on the top and bottom ends and a center purely devoted to sex and partying, girls and going out. Some pounding aggressive energy meets the ears on “Sub Me In” as the two trade spirited, forceful bars, followed by the arrival-announcing “I’m On” and the ambitiously hungry “I Want It All.” We now come to our gooey filling. The two dedicate “Co-Star” to their hookups and hormonal connections, hoot hurrahs in “Uh,” admire dimes in “Roll Up,” bring chicks home in “Uber To My Place” and go out and express more partied sentiments in “Lit.” All those tracks sound more or less the same from an adult critical perspective. The next section, our hard bottom layer, holds itself to disappointment in the decisions made by ex-girls, the rap life, larger-than-thou warnings and braggadocio.
Devvon Terrell has a harmoniously unique sounding rap flow, albeit with poppy Chris Brown hints in his singing, and Futuristic of course displays his impressively fast rap skills, but they are really only used for partying, sex and a little bit of that good old fashioned “overlordian” big-talk, a.k.a. braggadocio. If you can remember or recall Tyga and Chris Brown’s Fan of a Fan album from last year, then Coast 2 Coast is a lot like it minus the power guest list and giant label backing. This one might actually be the poorer project because it IS the copy and it doesn’t have the nice big features Fan has. Also, the production follows the SOPs of the industry and never travels off the beaten path. It’s an album for kids for Christ sake! Devvon and Futuristic, who are essentially two large voice-boxes in the game, could have used their words to craft a more respectable rap album, but they didn’t, and Coast 2 Coast is that much duller as a result. This album is typical modern day hip-hop production combined with good flows covering subjects that are really truly less than good.