Hip-hop and disco have had a long-lasting and fruitful marriage. From the essential breakbeat in “Rapper’s Delight” to Puff Daddy co-opting Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” for Biggie’s “Mo Money Mo Problems,” both genres are fundamentally rooted in soul music, so the fusion of the two has always felt natural.
The BreakLites get it. On Robots and Daytons, the Tacoma trio of John McRae (producer and instrumentalist), Cruel (MC) and The Mayor (DJ) have created a nine-track blast of uptempo, highly danceable, disco/funk rap. It’s enjoyable because of the crew’s unapologetic mission of making pure party music, ensuring their Friday and Saturday nights have a soundtrack strictly designed for popping off. It’s legitimate hip-hop because Cruel’s mic skills are for real (at least on wax) and his freewheeling rhymes about beat writers, being broke and his affinity for gangsta rap, are charming and devoid of self-conscious pretension. Robots and Daytons was a late discovery for 206UP.COM this summer, which is a shame because that’s exactly the season it was made for.