ANDY COOPER / THE DESIRED EFFECT (2018)
Overlooked & Underrated is a column about projects that I feel were either overlooked or underrated and need more attention. There's no hard criteria for this, but generally I look at the amount of reception on social media/blogs and things like plays/YouTube views. If you'd like to submit music, email me at email@example.com.
FOR FANS OF: The Beastie Boys, Ugly Duckling
If you've been in the mood for something fun that feels like early 90's Beastie Boys, this will fit that bill. Andy Cooper is one of the MC's from Ugly Duckling - a group that's been in the game since 1993 (if you've never heard them, check out the album Taste the Secret) - and this is his second full length solo project.
First, the negatives - some of Cooper's stuff can get overly silly. He's always been this way, even with UD, but songs like Do The Andy Puppet are just too wacky for me (which is a shame, because when the beat switches during the chorus it features a really great sample from James & Bobby Purify's "I'm Your Puppet"). He's at his best when he's adding subtle bits of comedy into his flow instead of focusing solely on it. His track Here Comes Another One is a great example of this - it features him and Blabbermouf spitting over a smooth jazz tinged track reminiscent of Jurassic 5, and really showcases their skills.
He covers a full range of topics here. Never Satisfied is just about pushing forward, never settling. Last of a Dying Breed will probably speak to a lot of hip-hop fans in this environment, the constant battle of the old head vs. the new rap listener. Rick Said So is a tribute to Rick Rubin. Anything Goes reminds me of two guys battle rapping. If you're looking for technical skill, this is Cooper's showcase, as he keeps up with Abdominal in an impressive display of spitting.
Cooper earned his place in the game a long time ago and this album continues his underground legacy.