If Fresno, Califonria hip hop, dupstep, dance group 2Tallin (Travis Huff, Patrick Warnshuis (PJW), Scott Laxton, Chris Elkins Features: Danielle Rondero, Christina, YB (MR.SexintheKitchen), Nate One and DJ: Ernie Garcia) continue to produce tracks like All I Ask, the opening number on their album Futre vs. Retro, then this is a group that can grow into superstar status. The track, which borrows from the rap/female vocal format made famous by Eminem, Jay-Z, is driven around an infectious piano groove and some stellar vocals from Danielle Rondero. It is, however, only one of two tracks of its kind on an album full of dubstep, rap and pop similar to LMFAO. Maybe it’s the crazy hair or silly dancing, but LMFAO have put a stamp on the genre that might be a bit hard for 2Tallin’ to reach – but this Cali crew is determined to give the funny-haired crotch shakers a run for their money.
As a fan of old school hip hop and rap, it’s always great to hear raps that don’t go for speed or precision, but rather for guts and feeling. Travis Huff and PJW, who stand no shorter than 6’5”, lead a collection of songs that feature a variety of guests. The result is a thrilling album that shows great promise. While the dupstep/pop tracks might not be as elaborate as LMFO, 2Tallin’ makes up for it with diversity. Similar to the opening track, Danielle Rondero returns later in the album with Take This Pain Away, an acoustic-sounding duet with the group that broadens on the All I Ask format that makes the group shine. Another standout is the catchy Lipstick Swagger.
The retro portion of the album is exciting and gives PJW a chance to take over the vocals. Although the retro section doesn’t go back as far as I’d hoped (retro should be Grand Master Flash, Kurtis Blow or The Sugarhill Gang), it does have a cool feel to it, especially Creative, the album’s closing track.
There’s a lot of good stuff on Future vs. Retro that show 2tallin’ is a force to watch out for. It’s a fun record with a lot of diversity and style.