Quakers

Quakers

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Quakers might be named after seismic shifts, but their self-titled debut album is more like an explosion. A double-disc set featuring lots of producers, lots of emcees, and lots of tracks, it could be overwhelming, but the shared vision of everyone involved makes it a triumph. Going by the alias Fuzzface, Portishead's Geoff Barrow's fondness for hip-hop has long been evident in his work, but this is his first overtly rap project. Fortunately, he's in good company, with his Invada Records cohorts 7-Stu-7 (aka Portishead's engineer) and Katalyst (an Australian hip-hop producer Barrow befriended in 1999). The trio lays down an inventive but not invasive backdrop for the album's legion of rappers, which ranges from Prince Po and the Pharcyde's Booty Brown to Dead Prez to Aloe Blacc and Guilty Simpson, as well as newcomers like Jonwayne. Despite the amount of heavy hitters here, the highlights are remarkably and admirably spread throughout the crew: lead single "Fitta Happier" pits Simpson and M.E.D. against a marching band version of the Radiohead song; Tone Tank scores with the equally goofy and menacing "What Chew Want"; and Quite Nyce takes things in a darker direction with the lean, hard-hitting "Jobless," which is echoed by Krondon and General Steele's "I Like to Dance." Stone's Throw newcomer Dave Dub makes a name for himself with the aptly named "My Mantra," which is as hypnotic as it is wild, but one of Quakers' littlest-known emcees ends up making the biggest splash. Coin Locker Kid brings an urgency and fire to his rhymes that makes all three of his tracks, "Russia with Love," "The Beginning," and "Get Live" standouts. Of course, since there's so much talent involved and the tracks are so short (Estee Nack's meditative "Lost and Found" is the longest at just over four minutes), the bright spots come at listeners thick and fast. Quakers is the kind of album where favorite tracks change from listen to listen, and a testament to hip-hop's enduring power.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
0:17
2
feat: Synato Watts
2:10
3
2:41
4
feat: Jonwayne
2:09
5
0:41
6
2:23
7
feat: Tone Tank
2:22
8
0:18
9
feat: Quite Nyce
1:46
10
feat: Buff1
2:12
11
feat: Diverse
2:15
12
feat: Emilio Rojas
1:22
13
1:15
14
1:30
15
feat: The Champs
2:04
16
1:07
17
2:12
18
feat: Frank Nitty
1:17
19
1:55
20
1:04
21
2:29
22
feat: Lyric Jones
1:34
23
0:13
24
0:47
25
feat: FC the Truth
1:26
26
feat: Prince Po
1:31
27
feat: Estee Nack
4:03
28
feat: Dave Dub
2:17
29
0:26
30
feat: Booty Brown
2:29
31
0:49
32
feat: Dead Prez
3:00
33
0:24
34
2:24
35
feat: Aloe Blacc
2:15
36
feat: Akil
1:23
37
0:45
38
feat: Deed
1:50
39
feat: Sareem Poems
1:39
40
feat: Silverust
2:50
41
feat: Finale
1:54
blue highlight denotes track pick