Pac Div: GMB
Pac Div, the Southern-Californian hip hop trio, has certainly made a name for themselves since their debut in 2006. Putting a modernized, commercial twist on old-school hip hop, Pac Div has crafted a unique sound that blends club music with classic street jams. Member BeYoung has a monotonous rapping voice that lends itself to hold the group down in a way Q-Tip did for A Tribe Called Quest. On the other hand, members Like and Mibbs have slightly higher-pitched voices and more accented vocals that contrast BeYoung in a way that really rounds out this trio perfectly. All-together, Pac Div appeals to both the hip hop radio listener and the underground backpacker because–unlike almost any other contemporary hip hop act I’ve ever seen–BeYoung, Like and Mibbs can make universal music for all to enjoy in some way or another.
The follow-up to their major label debut, GMB stands correct as another solid project from Pac Div. Although the consistency of the production is off, the lyrics are pretty straight throughout the whole album. Speaking on the production, the group recruited a few different producers for GMB, but there seemed to be no direct aim for the general sound of the album. One track will be a smoothed-out vibe with a soulful kick to it, and then the next track will be a club-banging, trap-joint. It’s like this for the majority of the album, and although I won’t knock those club-banging, trap-joints, I do feel that had the production been arranged a little bit better, then the flow of the album wouldn’t be so disjointed. Some of the best beats on the project are found on “The Return,” “Truth,” “Slow,” “Can’t Help It,” “No Superman” and “It’s All Love;” all of those beats have a similar sound.
There is a lot of talk about women and cars and clubs and money. “Bank” features a very commercialized sound with essentially all 808s and heavy bass notes. Money takes the crown as the subject matter on the track, and–although I am not one to enjoy these kinds of songs–there’s just something about BeYoung that can turn me on to almost any song. “Slow” features a nice beat, but a hook about a woman’s rear-end. It’s not the best, but it can be catchy at times. As is “Cross-Trainers,” which happens to feature hip hop elites Kendrick Lamar‘ and Blu.
Some of these commercial tracks I can stand because the above-average lyricism. What makes them above-average is their story-telling abilities with crafty wordplay and an authentic street sound. Money-talk, life-talk, women-talk, grind-talk, they mention all of it on GMB and this helps to widen their reach, while proving that they can rhyme unlike any other artist that touches these subjects like they do. If there was some club jam that had to be played, I would want it to be a Pac Div song, because they can actually rap.
GMB, although inconsistent in the production, stays tried and true to the classic Pac Div sound that so many people fell in love with over the years. It’s not anything to go nuts over, but the album is definitely an entertaining album full of sharp wordplay and a wide-range of production styles that is sure to include one song that almost everybody can call a dope track.
MP3: Pac Div “No Superman”