Residing comfortably in the framework of the classic hip-hop era, production powerhouse Gensu Dean successfully conjures some of our favorite moments from hip-hop’s golden-age on his latest release Lo-Fi Fingahz. Utilizing an EMU SP 1200, the crate-digging Texas native couples well-chopped samples with a perfectly cast roster of featured emcees to create a seamless sonic milieu favorably endorsed by DJ Premier, among other other hip-hop production royals. Gensu’s title as The Grand Imperial is well deserved.
Gensu shines on “Yen”–a drum-heavy banger laced with the sharp comedic punchlines of Roc Marciano. Other standout tracks include “Extra Extra”–an awesome piece featuring The Planets with an MC Lyte sample on the chorus, and “Alice in Wonderland”–a somber tale about a sexually and emotionally abused young woman, narrated by David Banner. Also noteworthy is “Forever”–a sampled-soul tracked featuring Large Professor–and “It’s Just Him,” a soulful joint featuring Head Crack delivering rhymes in an 80s LL Cool J esque intonation. Littered with cross-genre sampling, notable guest appearances and pungent indie-hop sensibilities, Lo-Fi Fingahz proves to be a refreshing alternative to auto-tune inundated ears.
– Jacqueline Whatley