Veteran emcee, Kurious teamed up with producer/rapper Dave Dar to form Bamboo Bros. After years of building a friendship together, the two finally linked up for the group’s debut album American Jibaro. The record features several uplifting tracks like opener “Stay High” and “Sunny (The Good Light).” Their style is very nostalgic, but they bring some new vibes to the mix as well, something like a cross between early De La Soul and Jurassic 5. The album is extremely positive, but manages to not be corny or pretentious like many artists who try to make “positive hip hop.”

Kurious is clearly the stronger emcee of the two, with his sharp lyricism and deep voice. Dave Dar does enough to hold his own with his counterpart, who has been in the game since the early 90s, but Dave’s main contribution is his top-notch beats. He handles the entire album, and is able to make the album sound very cohesive while blending in different styles. It would be easy to mistake Dave’s jazzy productions like the Talib Kweli featured “Let it Go” and “Beyond a Sensation” for Pete Rock (who raps on the latter) beats. And the ode to disco, “That 70s Song,” despite a pretty cheesy chorus, works surprisingly well. The group’s hook writing ability like on stand out tracks “Make a 4tune” and “When I Bleed” definitely improves the record’s replay value.

The Bamboo Bros. delivered a very consistent album with American Jibaro. While there aren’t many tracks that will blow you away, there also aren’t really any flat out bad tracks on the album. The only song that didn’t quite seem to work was “RingMaster,” which is Dave’s only bland beat on the disc. Overall American Jibaro is fun and positive hip hop.

-Zach Gase

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