Scroll down to find out how Young Fathers combined apocalyptic undertones with psychedelic pop in their latest album. A review by KWVA DJ, DJ Palette.
Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men Too
As the 2010s roll on, I’m seeing a trend. The trend is: “genre labels are bullshit.”
This is particularly true in the genre once known as Hip-hop. After all, when Yeezy and K Dot are making albums that blend nearly every form of modern music into punishing manifestos, the rest of the world can’t help but take notice. But if any group has pushed this trope to its ragged edges, it’s been Young Fathers. The self-proclaimed “psychedelic hip-hop boy band” has gobbled up every sound they spy over the last five or so years, releasing some of the most potent, and delectably odd, albums in recent memory. 2014’s Dead was their darkest LP to date, all metallic shading and fuzzed out electronics that signaled the end of the world. White Men are Black Men Too is an apocalyptic album as well, but it’s a pop-apocalyptic album.
As Young Fathers have said in numerous interviews, White Men are Black Men Too is their pop album, and in some parallel universe, they’re right. The choruses are catchy, the verses demand singalongs and every song rides on the vibrant energy inherent to the trio. But when you have a gospel freak out (“Rain or Shine”) a cry of “call me John Doe, let the good times roll” (“John Doe”) or the song feels like it’s going to catch fire and fall apart at the edges (every track on the damn thing) it takes an open mind to call it pop.
That being said, Young Fathers marry their idiosyncrasies perfectly with the buoyant melodies that flood the album. Young Fathers don’t hold back the darkness, but they don’t hide the light either, they blend the two until they are inseparable.
– DJ Palette, Nathan Stevens