featured REVIEW


Faculty Phar From Home D&H Records • 2007

Straight from Oxnard, CA comes the duo of Mr Mondell and Trigonometry aka Faculty, provin that there’s more than Stones Throw legends and strawberry in the 805. Welcome to camp Get Down, where originality reigns supreme and hip-hop history is honoured. Although they could’ve made an album with some local heroes, they chose to get behind them a line-up of different styles with different backgrounds.

Out-of-town producers such as Jake One and Vitamin D give the record an extra twist, although both do their best to sprinkle their beats with a West Coast flavour. Vitamin D turns the money anthem 'That Pay' into a G-funk, Nate Dog-esque hustler jewel ('I can sell snow to an Eskimo') while the bouncy 'A Lil Sum', the boombap of 'Shake That Shit' and the smoothness of 'He’s Mine' turn Jake One into the group’s ultimate sound deliverer, showcasing a big part of his sound palette, even going crunk-style (comparable to his latest collabs with Planet Asia) in 'Feel It'. Less crunk but on a same party vibe, leaning towards the Alkaholiks, continues 'You Know Who', produced by Oh No, the sole Oxnard contributor besides Wildchild (both also appear on the reggae-tinged 'Run Shit').

Besides describing their love for the streets ('Wickedest Sound'), the hustling ('I can push keys like my name was Alicia') and having a good, peaceful party ('I don’t need mad cow disease to kill beef'), Mondell and Trig bring life experience and knowledge to the table, for example in the lovely new lead twelve 'He’s Mine', a stand-out track, which is a dedication to single parenthood, a theme not likely to be rapped about in this day and age.

Far from being unoriginal, far from being monotonous and far from soundin too Oxnard, this album is a refreshing piece from the Left Coast, reviving the most honoured hedonistic sounds the West is and was known for, theme-and skit-wise, while delivering consciousness at the same time. 'Phar from Home' ain’t breaking no barriers but it’s breaking a leg or ten, get down to it!

POSTED ON 11|01|2007 by cpf

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