Gods’illa have returned with a brand new album. Well, in this case it’s a mix tape, or what they’re calling a “blend tape”, and it’s called CPR. Off the top, the album features a number of intros and interludes from well known MC’s offering their support to the group, and the entire project features Erykah Badu as the “host” of the tape. All of this offers a sense of validity and wisdom to the group and the music, a nice way of saying they’re all showing support for one another but you know what? It’s not needed.
Reason? Gods’illa are good as is, but if the guests throughout the album are a lure for people to check out the group, then the efforts have worked. This may be a mix/blend tape, but it works like what television people call a “resume tape”. In other words, this is the group putting their all into each and every song, and it has the vibe and spontaneity of groups from the mid to late 90’s, but without sounding retro. A lot of people tend to think that anything retro means it sounds “old”, but it’s not so much the sound but the feeling the groups and songs represented. What I hear in CPR is a group calling for a cry for help, a different way of saying how hip-hop has saved many lives and now it’s the people that have to bring that classic feeling of hip-hop back to life.
A lot of these songs remind me of how it felt when “Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka”, and I call these guys leaders of that Eshkoshka Movement, in that these guys sound determined, more than willing and able to make music, all while celebrating themselves, each other, and what it means to be a representative of hip-hop. It’s that “rewind factor” that made you want to hear the songs, and song after song, until the entire album was through. Then repeat. Tracks like “Everybody”, “Fine Line”, “You Owe Us”, and “Silent Weeper” each sound like rescue missions, if not mission statements for Gods’illa. It’s almost as if they’re saying “you can like this guy and that guy, and you may like this style of hip-hop and think it’s ill, but the Gods are illa, in more ways than one.”
For new fans, the narrative from Badu is perhaps a way to be formally introduced to the group, as she explains how she was unaware of the group but once she heard their music, she was appreciative of their efforts and became a fan. There’s a reason for that, and you’ll hear it on CPR. The music is not militant in a dead prez sense, but then again it may very well be. Or at least the power of the militancy is heard in the lyrics, the flows, and the production but without being so in-your-face. Then again, maybe that’s what hip-hop needs. Then again, it has always been there, and it’s not so much that hip-hop needs it, but the so called heads who feel what they’re hearing expands their minds when in truth they’re limiting themselves to falsehoods. CPR is an album with hopes and fears in the daily life of guys who aren’t afraid to say what’s on their minds, and that if there are dreams to be reached, you have to do a lot of reality in order to fulfill it. Again, the Eshkoshka Movement, and if you understand what that means, you will find a lot to enjoy about this. If not, but are willing to learn, take the first step towards the ill Gods.