The hip-hop world is undergoing another renaissance. Some would argue that it never really had …
There is nothing comparable to the vastness of Raw Honey. Released by Drugdealer—a band/music collective started by L.A.-native, Michael Collins—the album defies all archetype. Collins, enlisting the expertise of various reknowned musicians, filters through seemingly disparate musical influences easily—transitioning from eerie, ethereal folk to smooth, lounge-inspired jazz to blissful soundscapes in mere minutes. Raw Honey is a narrative, a subtle ode mirroring the musical influences of each Drugdealer member. Traces of The Pogues’ “Summer In Siam” are found in the melodic introductory track, “You’ve Got To Be Kidding;” while the fourth track, “Lost In My Dream,” has a similar piano interlude to the Beatles hit, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” Each track represents a unique and independent style. “Wild Motion” blends traditional shoegaze with a Southwestern twang, while the sensual vocals on the second track, “Honey,” conjure memories of Nico’s earlier folk sound.
The result is an album that is notably complex, dimensional, and engaging. Each song is as impressive as its precedent—with the most notable being “Fools,” the fifth track. Unlike other tracks, which each emphasize an artist’s personal wheelhouse, “Fools” is a product of the collective as a whole. With a catchy, jazzy piano and 70’s-inspired vocals, the climax of Raw Honey is a summery tune that blends the individual artists’ influences with the talent of Drugdealer as a whole.
Fans of Steely Dan will find comfort in fifth track, “Fools,” a warm, groovy tune with crisp and funky guitar interludes, dance-y background piano, and folk-inspired vocals.
The final track, aptly named “Ending On A Hi Note,” is a minute and a half-long dreamy instrumental soundscape. A perfect conclusion to Raw Honey, the track provides the space to appreciate the complexity of the full album.