¡MAYDAY!: Stuck on an Island

¡MAYDAY!: Stuck on an Island
There aren’t many good live rap groups out there. Besides The Roots and Crown City Rockers, I can’t even name any. The problem is it is hard to mix live instruments and hip hop but ¡MAYDAY! attempts to do it tactfully on their latest album, Stuck on an Island.
For the most part, live hip hop suffers from one of two problems. The instrumentals are either too simple making their sampled counterparts seem so much more polished and professional. The other common problem is the instrumentals sound good but then there is some white guy rapping at the helm who sounds like Snow (and no one wants that). Mayday trickily manages to not fall into either of these potholes. Looking at a song like “Sell Your Soul” tells the story pretty well. The song tactfully uses electric guitars to set a funky mood similar to Parliament-Funkadelic. The guitars are set over drums that remind me of Outkast‘s “B.O.B.” Rapper, Wreckonize’s voice sounds like Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park and Fort Minor fame. The elements combine to create an engaging track.
Unfortunately, the entire album can not keep up that level of engagement. The album suffers from an age old hip hop problem which is the album is too long. The album has 19 tracks and clocks in at just under an hour-and-a-half. The album has about 11 good tracks but the others feel like mediocre filler.
So I’m not sure I would elevate Mayday to the heights of other live hip hop groups like The Roots or Crown City Rockers but they are clearly ahead of some of the lesser groups. They sound like a live Outkast which is a great thing but they need to pare down their albums to get only the most potent tracks released.
Rating: 6.1/10
MP3: Mayday “Sell Your Soul”
Buy: iTunes