Think Ahead Tuesdays: The Underachievers
By Anton Constantinou
The Underachievers “Rap about inspiration, self reflection and hope, to inner struggles with schools and drugs.”
Following the recent release of their second studio album, Evermore: The Art of Duality, on September 25th, American hip hop group, The Underachievers, are right now touring the US and very soon coming to Europe.
The duo from Flatbush, Brooklyn, derive their name from the idea that rapping and pot smoking are synonymous with underachieving. Rather than play up to the stereotype though, they’ve flipped it on its head: combining trippy beats and mind altering lyrics to form a psychedelic style of rap which speaks more of creativity than stagnation.
Rappers AK and Issa Gold first met as teens in 2007, having grown up together on adjacent blocks. Sharing a joint, they discussed psychedelic drugs before later agreeing to make music together. In May 2012, they dropped their debut music video for song ‘So Devilish’ (see below). The video’s release saw the duo’s attention quickly grow, to such extent that their second song, Gold Soul Theory, received regular airplay on BBC Radio in August 2012. Their music then caught the attention of record producer, Flying Lotus, who went on to sign them to his label, Brainfeeder. Around that same time they also launched their third music video , Herb Shuttles.
In as a little as 2 years The Underachievers have dropped two mixtapes and two studio albums while under Brainfeeder. They’ve also toured with Joey Badass, appeared on Talib Kweli’s sixth studio album, Gravitas, and, together with Pro Era and Flatbush Zombies, formed the supergroup, Beast Coast.
Recent album, Evermore: The Art of Duality, offers more of the same “concious trap” they’ve previously delivered, only this time with a tighter focus. Moving from light to dark (as the title suggests), they rap about inspiration, self reflection and hope, to inner struggles with schools and drugs. Collective producers, Nick Leon, Ashton Benz and Lucas Savo provide the perfect soundscape to the album, which cleverly hovers on the spectrum between good and bad.
As of Friday the group will commence trips to states including Dallas, Washington and Salt Lake City, before eventually bringing their world tour to Poland, Germany and Scotland, among other counties. Full details of their sonic expedition can be found here.
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