"Youlogy" heads back to Ishmael Butler's roots as Butterfly in Digable Planets—that whole early '90s conscious but goofball hippie hip-hop movement starring the international beats of Butler's Digable Planets along with A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Arrested Development and even Deee-Lite.
"Youlogy," a stop-and-start mishmash of raps and sound effects and percolating deep beats, sounds like it was recorded on a stoned goof in the studio while a party was going on in the control booth.
The playful mood strolls into "Endeavors for Never," which opens with a sing-song, yet startling horn line (Tom Waits?). But it's getting later in the night now. The mood is getting more serious. The drinkers in the control booth have fallen asleep. It's just the night owl artists now, killer jazz drums taking over the horn line with some razz-a-ma-tazz add-ons, and guest vocalist Cat Satisfaction, from THEESatisfaction, the fantastic local soul hip-hop duet, stepping up to the mike.
Cat leans on the soul side to croon the album's mission statement and rewrite the Digable Planets' 90s goof into the Shabazz Palaces' serious proof.
We have been given a sample of just how talented this party is now. There are four more songs on this amazing set list to come.
That is my word.
Here are my takes on tracks #1, 2, 3, and 7.