Has it really been 13 years since Deltron 3030’s debut album? Where does the time go? When Del The Funky Homosapien, Dan The Automator and Kid Koala introduced the futuristic rap project back in 2000 it was a watershed moment for hip-hop – maybe not the mainstream kind that sells a bazillion records, but it made enough of an impact among indie-rap kids that it was the subject of a small batch micro-brew more than a decade later, which should stand for something. So, why did the sequel take 13 years to complete? Well, I don’t know what the hold-up was (sessions began back in 2005) but now that Event 2 is here, it’s evident that the delays sapped the energy out of the project.
If you’re following the Deltron 3030 narrative (and there’s a lot of narrative on a Deltron album) Event 2 takes place in 3040, ten years after the debut, and society is in bad shape – or so actor Joseph Gordon-Leavitt tells us in the opening intro/catch-up “Stardate”. I like the futuristic concept, but what I really care about is the music and that’s where Event 2 falls short of it’s boastful title. Dan The Automator’s production is typically strong, lifting boom-bap beats up to almost operatic proportions. Kid Koala’s scratches (remember when DJs scratched?) are sharp without being intrusive or showy. And then there’s Del. Always an MC more prone to talk about comic books than guns and girls, Del’s raps here are lyrically dexterous, but he’s lost some of that young man’s fire. His voice has always sounded mellow, but here he sounds downright lethargic. He even sounds like he’s reading his lyrics off the page on a few songs (“Nobody Can,” for example) and that doesn’t cut it.
Event 2 features a long list of big-name guests from all areas of celebrity – again a testament to the fandom of their first album – like Mike Patton, chef David Chang, The Lonely Islands, Zach De La Rocha (talk about 13 years ago!), and David Cross, but it’s hard to feel anything for the ancillary performers when the main star is so far off his game.
|1.||“Stardate” (featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt)||1:23|
|3.||“Pay The Price”||4:23|
|4.||“Nobody Can” (featuring Aaron Bruno of Awolnation)||4:35|
|5.||“Lawnchair Quarterback Part 1” (featuring David Cross and Amber Tamblyn)||0:57|
|6.||“Melding of the Minds” (featuring Zack De La Rocha)||4:04|
|7.||“The Agony” (featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead)||3:21|
|8.||“Back in the Day” (featuring The Lonely Island)||1:28|
|9.||“Talent Supersedes” (featuring Black Rob)||3:38|
|10.||“Look Across the Sky” (featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead)||4:40|
|11.||“The Future of Food” (featuring David Chang)||1:18|
|12.||“What is This Loneliness” (featuring Damon Albarn and Casual)||3:51|
|13.||“My Only Love” (featuring Emily Wells)||3:49|
|14.||“Lawnchair Quarterback Part 2” (featuring David Cross and Amber Tamblyn)||1:09|
|15.||“City Rising From The Ashes” (background vocals by Mike Patton)||3:32|
|16.||“Do You Remember” (featuring Jamie Cullum)||5:22|