Lexington and Whatevksi's Customer Appreciation Day is one of the best albums I picked up in 2008, and because it was a free album, well... that only made it better. In fact, this is such a solid piece of work I find it almost unfair that I didn't pay for it. Released on Hand'Solo Records, the album first caught my eye because of the provocative cover, which displays the title of the album sharpied onto a woman's bare chest. I figured, Canadian Hip Hop has been treating me well, why not give it a try. I like what Hand'Solo's been putting out and I was desperate for some new music on my Zune so I downloaded it.
Little did I know this album would change my perception of hip hop. Honestly, I haven't heard anything like this before and it really blew me away. From the opening track's intro with a man crying out for "spange" for a Lexington + Whatevski show to the closing ad for their full-length album Preggers Can't Be Choosers, it was perfect. These guys do to hip hop what Bird did to basketball... they took something that everybody can take a shot at and kinged their pawns. That is to say, they not only did something different, but they raised the bar doing it.
The album progresses with some of the best beats I've ever heard, dirty and dark, a stinky carnival full of drunks kind of sound, mixed with some hard-hitting drums. I'm dying to hear an instrumental version of this album if they ever release that, actually. The production is some of my favorite I've ever heard and I can only describe it as a magical experience. Wherever they're digging up samples from... well, I wish I had access to what they're listening to and the skill to arrange in such a way. Every chorus is catchy, and the layering of sounds is almost too intense, though never overwhelming... if that makes sense.
Lyrically, Lex and Evski kill it. From serious tracks like Back When to hilarious tracks like Dick in Ya Drink, it's all over the place. Vulgarity aside, the lyrics are fantastic. It's a great balance between philosophical and comical, and all the flow is solid throughout.
Speaking of the flow, the album is littered with guest rappers who absolutely rip it up. Planit, Touch, Hollohan aka G.O.D., B-Money, Ryan Crack the Dirt Dogg, and Mr. Grim make appearances, and all of them do justice. Aside from the extreme weirdness of the first half of Planit's verse on Dead and Famous. It's all solid, though, and Planit's verse has grown on me. I guess I was just weirded out about that kind of flow when I first heard it.
All in all, I give this album a 10 out of 10 because since I've downloaded it, I've listened to it all the way through at least once a week and still it surprises me. Most of the tracks have made it onto my bicycling/traveling playlist, almost every track is fantastic, and I am left in awe at how well-done this all is, especially for a free release.
Lexington and Whatevski are without a doubt in my top 10 favorite hip hop artists/groups, and solely because this album is so perfect. If you don't download it, you're a damned fool, it's a fantastic album all the way through and goddammit, it's free!
Best track? I can't even name one. Good People and Back When are probably my favorites. Don't forget to check back for the release of Preggers Can't Be Choosers, their new album. You can find more information at the following locations.
Hand'Solo Records Page
Lexington and Whatevski Official Website