Foggy, face-suctioning goggles and snorkel tube: check.
Skin-suffocating wet suit on inside out: check.
Pair of rubber flippers (one size 10 and one size 13): check.
Highly anticipated Thirsty Fish album: check.
OK. Now I’m ready to plunge backwards overboard into the saturated lyricism of DumbFounDead, Psychosiz, and Open Mike Eagle—otherwise known as Thirsty Fish—on their latest album, Testing the Waters. These runaway Atlantis emcees hook the edges of L.A. hip-hop with a giant anchor and pull it below sea level to bring you a purposefully themed work of artistry. I was quite impressed by the album artwork, so before I even witnessed a syllable I was nodding with approval. Then, having waited over a week for the shoddy US Postal service to deliver me a CD with a cracked and damaged case at around 7pm (mind you, we’re supposed to receive mail in my neighborhood by 3), I was able to give it a listen while eating a microwaved Home Run Inn pizza, courtesy of the frozen food section of my local grocer.
Potent lyrics surf the waves of excellent production throughout the entire album. The third track, “The Thirst”, lays the ultimate backdrop of their thirst for success and the desire to share their product. This is then paralleled by the thirst for more competent music in hip-hop rather than the perpetuation of “Penelope pink” polar bear cub rappers that seem to all be named “Young” or “Lil” somethingorother that are more concerned about the color of their ice than the improvement of their craft. Nay, these three talents are not ice fishing. Nor are they trying to come up too fast at the risk of getting the bends. Psycho, Open and Dumb understand the value of hard work and it shows clearly from start to finish.
The featured artists don’t disappoint either. “Pirahnas” is a track that reminds me of previous times when 4 or more emcees (in this case 6) rip a track to shreds leaving listeners feeling amped like they witnessed a cypher on the Chicago Red Line. Fat Kid yields guitar riffs that raise the energy levels higher than the blood pressure of a baby seal surrounded by hungry, club-wielding yetis. The album songs were immediately added to my iPod, which says a lot because I only have a first generation shuffle so I’m extremely particular about what music makes that 90 song playlist. Simply put, me likey.
Anyway, I strongly recommend this album to those thirsty for something fresh and rich with talent. I only wish that the beat of some of the songs were drawn out longer after the last verse, just so I can nod my head a bit longer, perhaps to be inspired to write a piece or two of my own, especially on the Maestro and Alkalyne produced beats (my personal faves). So strap your life jackets on, hold on to your rubber duckies and prepare to get wet. These guys mean business. By the way, I call cobbs on any sunken treasure discovered along the way.