#8 Mixtape of The Year: Flatbush Zombies- Better Off Dead

Posted: December 29, 2013 by ericbernsen in Album Reviews, Music
Tags: , , , ,

As members of the loose knit Beat Coast movement taking place in NY, the Flatbush Zombies have had a strong buzz ever since opening up for A$AP Rocky at his first headlining show. The group released their first mixtape D.R.U.G.S. in 2012 and the project was met with success and positive reviews from rap blogs who praised it for the experimentally vicious production and consciously drug-infused lyrics. After a rather lengthy delay, the Flatbush Zombies released Better Off Dead a few months ago, and it is another project that relishes in its hardcore production and rebellious subject matter.

The rapping on Better Off Dead does not stray from the formula that worked on their last project. However, the primary sign of progression we hear is in the sequencing and the variety of flows displayed on the project. From the hard hitting, get you ready for war “Bliss” to the laid back soulful “G Tearz”, the Flatbush Zombies are able to maintain their distinct and passionate sound without sounding out of place. Nevertheless, the group sounds best over the grimiest haunting production known to man. And despite the fact there are 19 tracks on the project, there are only two high profile features in Danny Brown and Action Bronson, with the Flatbush Zombies supplying the rhymes for the bulk of the mixtape without letting it drag on.

Although the raps and hooks on Better Off Dead are well delivered, it is the production from Erick Arc Elliott that stands out as being truly exceptional. Elliott shows his “digging in the crates” skills as he selects a multitude of well-chosen samples that appear throughout the mixtape. They are strategically implemented in each track, and the in-house producer displays an uncanny ability to use a variety of soulful sounds while maintaining a consistently dark atmosphere.

With the release of Better Off Dead, the Flatbush Zombies show their overall artistic growth as they continue to perfect the definitive style that they’ve become known for, but also successfully branch out from their niche with tracks like “Thugnificense” and “222”. The beats on this lengthy project allow it stay fresh and keep the listener engaged for its duration. Like all the groups associated with the Beast Coast movement, the Flatbush Zombies have only just begun to unlock their potential. Better Off Dead is another solid step in that direction and we can’t wait to see how this group musically develops in 2014.

Listen to Better Off Dead below and let us know what you think of the album/rating!

  1. […] Flatbush Zombies are coming off of a solid 2013 after they released their well-received Better Off Dead mixtape. While many fans were probably expecting an album as a follow up, the Brooklyn trio have announced […]

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