RapRuler: Mixtape Review – The Underachievers “Indigoism”

If Woodstock and Freaknik made a baby, Indigoism would be her lullaby.

Subtract the foul language, odes to blunts and alcohol—and the lyrics may have come from Deepak Chopra’s latest book. The Underachievers, Issa and Ak, explore existential questions: “Who Am I?” and “What’s the meaning of life?” while demanding their audience to do the same. These two stoner kids from Brooklyn, rocking kicks, fitteds and hieroglyphic necklaces, mesh lessons of transcendence with the rebellion of youth.

The New York rap duo seem determined to bring hip hop back. Signed by Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label, the pair tout throughout the mix “Beast Coast,” a term referring to New York rappers elevating the craft back to its’ roots. They are affiliated with rising underground stars Flat Bush Zombies, A$AP Mob, Pro Era and Joey Bada$$.

In a music landscape dominated by southern rappers’ strip club anthems, The Underachievers would rather spread mantras of enlightenment.

Indigoism evokes hip hop nostalgia. It pulls the listener back to the beginning—when a track highlighted sick rhymes laid over a simple beat. Issa Dash and Ak’s lyrics, flow both furious and tranquil, adorned only by a deep bass, drums and keys. They are the gurus—listeners are the seekers.

So Devilish” is a smooth waterfall of rhymes with warnings of following the status quo. Rhymes like “Birth from the Sun/You are all gods too/But I’m on a higher level/I am you times two,” combine both the bravado of the genre, while simultaneously uplifting its listeners to the truth.

To label the duo “conscious rappers” would be a paradox.

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