Classic RnB vibes with bass and keys-led warmth meets the story-telling of vintage hip hop throughout a melodically engaging EP from The Startin Lineup.
Cleanly mixed and catchy from the outset, Summer League Madness 2 kicks into gear with the nostalgic and sultry tones of Oh Well. Multiple vocals intermittently make for a colourful structure that veers between rap and melody, always with clarity and confidence. The story too has weight, the lyrics and mood stand close to this at all times – keeping things artistically relevant, and stylistically bridging the gap between contemporary references and the simple sounds of an earlier decade.
Late Night Cruisin’ pours through afterwards and already the voices are familiar, the chord progression and keys, the melodic style and the Gospel-esque multi-layered presence. Here we get a quicker rap verse though, plenty of poetic imagery, and a sense of appropriately late-night vibes.
The production ramps things up a little as a creative Vacation (Trip for 2) takes the reigns. Cool rhythms and that stop-start vocal, call and response or back and forth, really shines brightly here. The Startin Lineup captivate, entertain and embrace listeners – making this track feel like a timeless hit.
Not just in mood but in concept and delivery, Summer League Madness 2 keeps things summer-ready as implied, all four tracks promising a feeling of escapism, good things to come, calm and optimism intertwined. All Night wraps things up in this respect perfectly well. A personal favourite for its hints of realism and the soulful vocals lighting up the outer layers as the rap toys with flow in a brilliantly refreshing way.
Great music, in short – crisp and modern to finish but rooted in the sounds of hip hop’s dawn.