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SO.Crates, Nelson Dialect and Alnitak Kid establish their hip hop promise on 'Sunset Cities'

Bedroom Suck Records take a left turn with their latest release.

Melbourne meets Adelaide in this synergy of local hip hop stalwarts, including SO.Crates and westerly neighbours emcee Nelson Dialect and beat-maker Alnitak Kid.

Even before listening to Sunset Cities, the double-duo deserves props for rightly attributing the LP to a four-way collaboration (two producers and two emcees), contrary to an unfortunate hip hop norm that too often under-acknowledges producers. The record is dotted with moments of top-class music. Opener ‘Stay a While’ is a fitting prologue – a soundtrack for sunset cruising down a coastal boulevard – and ‘Jay Elec’ features rapping that would impress hip hop aficionados all over the world.

There’s enough musical diversity here to fuel the intrigued listener through all 11 tracks. New York vocalist, Jace XL, pops up on ‘Oh Baby’ adding some R&B flavour, while the 90 second mid-album interlude, ‘Bright On’ adds pleasant balance with its contemplative themes.

We can’t say it’s all gold, though. The odd lapse in originality – like the hooks on ‘Hemisphere’ and ‘Somebody Believe in You’ – keep this album’s musical weight from exceeding the sum of its parts. But Sunset Cities is a promising sign the four will continue to turn heads in Australia’s hip hop scene.

7.5

By Jacob Nazroo