B-Pos

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its diversity–a quality evident in the region’s food, people and the music of artists like SF-based hip-hop group B-Pos.  The group made up of emcees Goodword, Khafre, D-Wiz and DJ Johnny Venetti, have been making music together since 2010 when they released their debut album The Upside, which hit #4 on CMJ’s Hip-Hop Chart that year.

For their new album, B-Pos takes the best 17-tracks from their Pos mixtape trilogy, spun out over a two-year period–and collect them all together for a complete album.  Using the group name as a reference (Be Positive) the album gravitates towards speaking on the most uplifting topics ie what makes people dope, partying with super heroes and living life to the fullest.

The production palette on the album likewise takes on a somewhat upbeat, jazzy and sampled vibe, providing the perfect canvas for the preferred words and topics of the Northern California quartet.  Case in point: “Dope,” which opens with a vocal sample and jazz-inspired production, and quickly moves into things that would be dope as far as running around from the troubles of the world, the way life will be in the future, life changing and etc.   “I’m High” featuring Tess, evokes an almost Strange Fruit Project like vibe, and an easy breeze in terms of production; the airiness in Tess’ chorus enhances lyrics like: “I ain’t got a lot of time I know my life is just a window/ I know I rather have a clue it’s time to open up the windows to have a panoramic view.”

“Radio,” is the definite highlight of the whole album.  The Tahaj the First-produced track is the epitome of what I would want to hear on the radio.  The first verse automatically draws you in and captivates you to keep listening to its rapsodizing on the love of good music; placing and keeping it on a pedestal.  “Don’t be acting shady, dumb and crazy, Dead Prez, Tupac, N.W.A raised me/ KRS-One, J.Dilla and Big trained me so I can promise wack radio won’t change me.”

One of the downfalls on the album comes in the form of “Super Hero Pool Party,” featuring Z-Man, Pep Love, Melina Jones, Dublin, Phoenix, which is an odd song.  The features on the song are a good mix of artists but the concept of a pool party for super heroes and the water splashing throughout the track come across a little corny and juvenile.  Speaking as a Bay Area dweller myself, this is an album that really pays homage to the ragion with its local references and just the overall chill and laidback vibe you expect from Northern Cali.  In turn, Pos Tapes leaves you feeling inspired to be positive by supporting good music.

-Erin Duncan

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