Today as we celebrate the life of Tupac, more heat comes from the west in the form of the L.A. lyrical assassin duo known as Substance Abuse. This terrible twosome consists of Subz and Eso Tre and the group name is a punchline in itself referring to their loyalty to conscious rap. And real rap loves them back, as seen with features from the likes of MF Doom, Saafir, Kool Keith, and the OG himself KRS-One on their track titled Rear View from their critically-acclaimed EP Background Music.
‘ “Background Music” refers to the state of hip hop today, explains Eso “where the music seems deracinated of the personality and edge that it once had.” It also refers to how our music is construed by the masses, people who generally seem to favor the popular over the obscure. Real hip-hop has been forced to play the “background” to club and dance music that seems devoid of any message or staying power. ‘
At a time where social injustice is flagrant and many musicians stand by silently and watch, I could not be more thrilled to come across a group that not only hold no stops and delivers back to back bars but also addresses many of the problems plaguing our community. The track below, entitled Don’t Get Me Wrong reminds me of the funk-infused beginning of hip hop and I can definitely get jiggy with it. Enjoy the vibes of the track below on your Friday night, maybe take a shot, and get uplifted with a little bit of Substance Abuse.