Riders Against the Storm, SubKulture Patriots, and Sertified
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., July 26, 2013
The strongest cases sometimes come in small sizes. Riders Against the Storm's self-titled EP, the wedded rap duo's first release since 2010 long-player Speak the Truth, packs a five-track punch that speaks to party people ("Holy Water") and political pundits ("Ghetto People") alike. Combining aggressive back beats with live instrumentation and engaging hooks ("Everybody Wannabe"), locals Chaka Mpeanaji and Tiger Lily prove you can deliver a legit message and still sound like a dance line ("Satellite"). Discourse arrives a bit less directed on The Kulture Riots, the new firing line from SubKulture Patriots. A four-man Austin artillery, they sound like a more amiable Slaughterhouse for 14 tracks that barely take a moment to catch their breath. Whether on the piano-laden "Never," chipmunk-soul sampling "Near You," or expansive "Rodney Watts," SKP proves both confident ("Divide and conquer constantly/Even Genghis Khan follow me") and capable of a relentless round table approach. An "8 Headed Dragon"? Just four actually, and they're spitting fire. Same could be said for soul-sampling aficionado Sertified, the Die Slo Entertainment figurehead whose FilthyFckingHumans plays like a smooth ride down a city block in the middle of a scorching summer. The HeartBeatz-produced cull rounds up Kydd; Cory Kendrix; San Antonio rapper Worldwide; Lil J, Lowkey, and Reggie Coby from the League of Extraordinary G'z; and the unknown but entertaining Chamothy the Great, who lends his blunted delivery to the guitar-soaked "Half of It." Sertified's sticky, trebly flow candy-coats the soulful "Brand New Cadillac" and Bronze Nazareth-hued "1 Way or Another," two highlights from a mix that runs heavy on hits.