Inglewood rapper El Prez links up with Coopatroop for his latest release entitled ‘Labtrappincalifornia’. The MC & producer partnership results in stellar music here, and Prez’s distinct west-coast style is perfectly complimented by the New Jersey beatsmith’s eclectic techniques behind the boards.
The LP opens with ‘Highs + Lows’; the jazzy keys are spliced with swelling synthesizers as El Prez showcases his hazy, chilled-delivery and smooth flow over Coopatroop’s bouncy, trap-infused flavours. The duo blend traditional boom bap with an up-to-date twist, and the mellow highlight ’20 Karats On The Wrist’ impresses with a simplistic, catchy hook, subtle vocal presence and crisp, groovy beat. The chemistry on display here is quite clear, and the cohesive, under-stated hip-hop is executed with exhilerating sophistication.
C Plus features on the uptempo title-track, and the melodic, skippy flows are backed by a cool, wavy instrumental, with the expert chops of Coopatoop on full display once again. ‘The Winners Is…’ finds Queens spitter Koncept appearing with a dope, charismatic verse, and the raw, glitchy production mixed with the cocky deliveries of both talented MCs makes the hard-hitting track one of the best tracks of the album. The soulful ‘Hall Of Fame’ is a stylish closer. The eclectic styles on display across the project is a testament to the prowess of the two musicians, and it all just sounds so effortless.
El Prez has a discography packed with solid releases, and after a couple of years without a project dropping, ‘Labtrappincalifornia’ is welcome return for the California lyricist. Coopatroop puts in the work here too, and the collaboration between rapper and producer results in a consistent and polished sound that makes this LP a definite underground sleeper.
By Sam Bennett