By Lane Claffee
February 27, 2018
Dropping March 2nd is Spaceman Jones and the Motherships Vol. 2, the second collaborative EP between emcee Spaceman Jones and producer MOTHER HOOD of RBTS WIN. Both hailing from Asheville, the contribution in this musical partnership is rather straightforward: Spaceman Jones brings his signature sci-fi southern-style rhyming to the table, while MOTHER HOOD is responsible for the minimal, spacious beats that grace the record. The production has a lo-fi feel, and it somewhat borders on cloud-rap territory, but the use of analog equipment and the “less-is-more” approach is an appropriate fit.
The project kicks off with the chopped and screwed “Intro,” complete with low-pitched background vocals and a few introductory “Spaceman” ad-libs, setting the tone for the album as a handful of deep fried, spacey southern rap bangers. The golden era sample-laden hip-hop feels come into full effect with the first two cuts of the album, “Halfway Crook” and “Alabaster.” These two tracks, as well as the subsequent one, “Make A Slaughter,” are unique to the rest of the album, in that, sonically, they channel some early Three 6 Mafia vibes.
“Money Phone” features a catchy, hook-heavy structure, along with one of my favorite lines of the album: “You can’t buy a CookOut tray with the applause from a good set.” Superficially, a name drop of the beloved fast food chain, but more so a take on the hardships of starting out as an artist and struggling to get steady support, even from people close to you. It’s something that anyone that has ever taken a big risk, relating to art, or a career, or anything really, can relate to.
Coming after the next “Interlude” is one of the hardest hitting tracks on the album, “Monster Mash.” From the piercing synthesizers to the grimy vocal delivery, it’s an anthemic declaration of staying true to your passion, which doesn’t let up, from start to finish. Afterwards, the album winds down with some relatively low-key, hazy tracks like “Wavy In The Night” and the jazzy “Ways In The Waves,” which flow perfectly into the dizzy, relaxed instrumental “Outro.”
Overall, the second installment in the Spaceman Jones and the Motherships collaboration project is a piece of North Carolina hip-hop that’s not to be missed. The album teeters on the line between cloud-rap and old school southern hip-hop in a way that will keep you tuned in and bobbing your head, from beginning to end. It’s clear that utilizing vintage techniques and equipment to create this unique sound blends well for this Carolina duo.