When Emcee Sick and Tone Atlas (also known as Pseudo Slang) met, I wonder was it like when Q-tip and Phife met, or when Cheeba and Suede met, or even when Premier and Guru crossed paths. Either way, the outcome has been similar; the creation of a fresh, melodic sound, heavily laden with jazz tones, and bee-bop tendencies. Though Pseudo Slang hasn’t quite made it into the same stratosphere career-wise just yet, musically these Buffalo boys definitely contend.
We’ll Keep Looking, the latest effort by Pseudo Slang, blends standard jazz with drum and bass lines, the likes of Dilla, and a silk, though seemingly tangential flow, which happens to work perfectly with the jazz root of each track. This is what would’ve happened if Digable Planets formed a super group with Slum Village.
From the dripping organ that opens the album, on “Perfect Beat,” to the chimy, lullaby vibe on “Good Night,” We’ll Keep Looking is rich with gems. One of the standouts is “Myth of Web-Slinger,” a stripped, piano driven, brush drummed track. It seems the Pseudo Slang came close to perfection on this one by showing restraint when it came to the production, yet delivering complex, yet poignant rhymes. “Walkin’,” a more upbeat tune featuring Grap Luva, is an awesome volley, over a beat who’s identity has most to with the bass line which is, you guessed it, “walkin”.” And of course, the critically acclaimed “Broke & Copasetic,” featuring the much-needed songstress, Vinia Mojica, is nothing short of a hit (if radio actually played stuff like this).
In my opinion, We’ll Keep Looking will be the album Pseudo Slang looks back on as their seminal project. Not that they won’t create anything better, but this will be the project that gives their arms a bit more length. At least, I hope so. And whether or not their meeting was anything like the aforementioned, I’m just glad they met. Like jazz and hip-hop, some things just go well together.
– Jason Reynolds