A solo album from a local group that has barely begun to see their value as a whole sounds like a mistake on paper. Until you take advantage of your potential as a unit, why waste verses and beats on something that doesn’t give directly back to the crew? After Dat Boi Dunn of Skyscraper Stereo released a mostly successful online mixtape earlier this year, here comes fellow ’Scraper Mr. Goodbar with a retail solo disc. Still upset I missed his release show at Spinelli’s, the videos continue to drop on Youtube and Vimeo seemingly every other day; the crowd, show, and support looked great.
“Individually Rapped” is a great example of the new “All Crews United” mentality that is currently expanding throughout Louisville hip-hop. The entire Skyscraper crew is represented, Dat Boi Dunn guesting lyrically while Ju Ju Pap chimes in with three production credits. Grimey Rhyme Regime producer Dr. Gonzo brings two tracks and mixed and mastered the entire project, giving a professional sheen and top shelf sound that is lacking in so many local rap releases.
As for the songs, I couldn’t be more pleased. A fifteen song long-player, only two have found their way to the “next” button in the car, the clichéd KYNG and Hit Me on the Brick. Thirteen strong cuts remain, from Lemi Vice’s two contributions, No Intentions, whose clever samples could bring some WFPK love, and Tower Rangers. The Ju Ju Pap-produced Girl Crazy lays a Donny Hathaway-laced foundation in the vein of Jay’s Girls Girls Girls. L-Double-U sets up the strip club getaway cut with the New Edition-assisted The Rain, probably the most laid back stripper song I’ve ever heard. Producer Jon Woo closes the album with two doves flying behind Goodbar in the form of “Brimloseph” and “Everything Was Everything (Outro),” both strong midtempo cuts that balance reflection and bravado with the ease of your favorite rappers’ favorite rappers. Essential music. —Damien McPherson
Buy the hard copy from Goodbar or download it for $5 here.