Infinito: 2017 and Future Times
Submitted by cobwebsandstrange on Thu, 06/04/2009 – 19:56
in infinito: 2017
When I first heard “Out with the Old,” I think I played it about four times in a row. It’s that good. The track takes a ceaseless vibraphone sample that sounds like it’s been filtered through a really thick blanket before reaching your ears and is pushed on by the fuzzy bass line. While the production itself sounds incredible, it’s pretty clearly a lo-fi product. And while that approach to sound has recently been embraced in the rock world, it might not fly in hip hop – and that would be a bloody shame, seriously.
Infinito: 2017 doesn’t cop some futuristic stance like those dudes in Outkast or even like those weirdos on Mush Records (as a disclaimer, I like those folks, they just seem odd). Instead, the emcee/producer/high minded thinker positions himself as a unifier of culture. It seems like a pretty lofty goal, but the rapper’s aim is pretty clear even from a brief examination of his newest full length disc entitled Divided Souls: Africans in America – he also apparently enjoys colons. The disc itself, though, is framed by an (imaginary?) interview with a British woman who asks various questions interspersed with the actual songs here. It isn’t a distraction, but I gotta say that she gets kind of annoying by the end of the disc.
Growing up in Chicago and being sent back and forth between Memphis and the larger northern city that Infinito called home must have some how colored his outlook on race in the Americas. This disc surely isn’t going to be taken away from white folks, but with the overall bent of the lyrical content focusing on black folks and how they’re beautiful, it might make some listeners wonder what they’re listening for. Of course, the approach to rap in order to raise awareness and cultural pride is one of the original intentions of the genre and should continue. But in his attempt to make a name for himself, Infinito dismisses a portion of the hip hop buying populace, which is intergalactic at this point.
Beyond that, though, Infinito just comes off better as he examines the culture of hip hop as opposed to the folks that founded it. In the aforementioned song, “Out with the Old,” the emcee deftly name checks a huge number of groups while still being able to weave a loose narrative around them. It isn’t Slick Rick, but what is anymore? “Forget Yesterday,” while touching on the fact that he moved around as a child, gets into relationship territory and again succeeds pretty effortlessly.
These aren’t club bangers and really, the biggest possible fan base for this flighty emcee is gonna be the back packer crowd. In addition to those insightful raps, the production here is laid back and smoker friendly. Nothing represented on Divided Souls: Africans in America is gonna change the game, but even in that Infinito pays his respect to the folks that came before him. And really, that’s the thesis of his career thus far. As long as the emcee keeps to this track – as well as self producing those videos – we’ll hear from him again. Hopefully, soon.