The word “tribe” is derived from the Latin word “tribus” which means three people. Tribe has come to mean more than three people generally but in the case of Lostribe it only means two people. The Sacramento-based hip hop/electronic duo release, Sophie, their first album in five year.
In those five years, the Lostribe members have been amassing an impressive resume. Producer, JustLuv won in the Bay Area regional “Skribble Jam Producer Battle” and went on to compete in Ohio for the Scribble Jam Producers Championship showcase while rapper, Agustus ThElefant completed a solo album.
Now, the idea that Agustus completed a solo album is not a big deal but JustLuv winning a regional Scribble Jam is pretty impressive. It becomes apparent why he won Scribble Jam’s production competition as Sophie wears on. There are three basic types of production featured on the album. The first is the funk-inspired hip hop tracks. The best example of this is “Come Down” which features funky guitars that are cut up by JustLuv to form a beat that sounds reminiscent of KutMasta Kurt. These kind of funky beats are pretty representative of the bay area from which Lostribe hails. The odder beats are the R&B-tinged beats. I specifically look at a track like “Gettin Back” which features Deja Solis. The track feels like a mash-up of Nas‘ “One Mic” and Biggie‘s “One More Chance” beats. While I enjoy both of those songs, neither were praised for their production qualities and sadly, neither will “Gettin Back.” The third type of track is odder still; it is dubstep inspired hip hop. A track like “Boombox” has an instrumental that is worthy to stand alone. The rapping on it seems almost overkill, as if the group is trying to cash-in on a current popular genre by going way out of their comfort zone.
In the end, Sophie is not exactly the grand triumph one hopes for after five years off. The album’s production is often on point but sometimes the production is so fancy, the rapping seems in excess. The group needs to find a better balance but hopefully it does not take another five years for them to give it a try.
MP3: Lostribe “Boombox”