The Underachievers hit the ground running this year by capitalizing on the inescapable buzz for their project Indigoism. Looking to re-assert themselves in the scene as leaders of the Beast Coast—a loose-knit collective of New York rap groups including Pro Era and the Flatbush Zombies—the Underachievers recently relinquished an 8-track EP titled Lords of Flatbush, which finds Ak and Issa paying homage to their native Brooklyn and drawing inspiration from a 1974 film of the same name about the coming of age of four young men in 1958. The EP grabs influence from the movie, known for its racy scenes about stealing cars and bar fights, capturing a similar relentless, youthful energy.
Ak and Issa Dash let it be known on Twitter before the tape dropped that “all that lyrical conscious expanding knowledge filled magical triple optic shit will have to wait for the album.” Lyrically, the first half of the tape the dynamic duo sees the duo staying true to their word, going with a less is more approach and delivering aggressive lyrics over Lex Luger’s production. The songs are often powerful and visceral, but not necessarily what the group is known for.
The deep side of the duo is brought to the forefront on the second half of the tape, which also so happens to be when the group shines brightest. Flatbush Zombie member Eric “The Architect” Elliot delivers a soulful beat to The Underachievers with “N.A.S.A.” Ak spits venom with bars like, “A nigga been blessed since he came out the womb/Now the worlds blessed too cause I’m the influence/Tuned with the truth kick knowledge in the booth/ In the streets with the G’s and the real niggas salute.”
The Underachievers shook up the internet a bit upon the announcement that Lex Luger was handling production on the Lords Of Flatbush tape. Luger is known for his energetic, drum-filled beats for rappers like Waka Flocka, Juicy J and Rick Ross. These beats launched Luger into the big leagues, but they are not the sound synonymous with a group like Underachievers. Nonetheless, Lex delivers gems with “Cold Crush” and “Still Shining,” both bass filled jams with timely snare selections. Luger also displays his versatility with “Melody Of The Free,” a jazzy tune led by a softer snare and piano key strokes. While many may have assumed the tape was all done by Lex Luger, the back end features standouts by other producers. “Midnight Augusto” was produced by Eff Dope of Tribe Gang, who also collaborated with they dynamic duo on their Indigoism tape.
This project from The Underachievers may not be as deep and reflective as Indigoism, but it has its high points and serves as a step forward with the group. With a captivating performance in the final half of the tape, the Lords of Flatbush will surely have fans on the edge of their seat for their upcoming album. –Christian Mordi (@mordi_thecomeup)