September 11th, 2013 at exactly 9:11 PM, the Flatbush ZOMBiES established themselves in the rap game when they dropped their second and highly anticipated mixtape BetterOffDEAD. Since then, the trio from New York City quickly gained hype over the years by touring the country, collaborating with The Underachievers on their Stanley Kubrick inspired EP Clockwork Indigo and dropping numerous tracks for their “Day of the Dead” series. With triumphant return, they’ve come out with their debut album: 3001: A Laced Odyssey, a psychadelic, New York boom bap, drug-filled album inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s famous movie 2001:A Space Odyssey. Fans are finally getting the opportunity to hear the bars the ZOMBiES have been preparing for their long-awaited debut, and with heavy delivery, they definitely came hungry and made the wait worth while.
The entire album’s production was handled by The Architect himself with only two features on the entirety of the project. Because of this, the album remains fairly consistent from start to finish by smoothly flowing from track to track and maintaining a dark, glorified sci-fi-like theme. It definitely starts well with the opening track “The Odyssey” being an absolute head banger. The heavy drums, unsettling piano riff along with the sample of their songs “Nephillim” and “Palm Trees” definitely set the tone for what’s to come throughout the rest of the project, providing a scary vibe with the tone of the unknown; the same vibe that Kubrick sought to provide in his movie. Above all, it’s an amazing way to kick things off.
The lead single “Bounce” does an amazing job at carrying the same theme but with a little more animation from the three showing that they’re going hard on each song and having fun while they’re doing it. Meech’s verse is covered from start to finish with clever, witty, and eyebrow-raising rhymes that show just how much of a unique and comedic emcee he can be.
Run up on me like I’m some hippy nigga/ and I die under the knife Joan Rivers/ Ooh damn that punchline delivers/ Hold up wait a minute moment of silence/ Fuck it/ Let’s get back to wild’n
It’s difficult to not appreciate the infusion of their first hit “Thug Waffle” into the track. The sample facilitates a more head-bopping beat that fans will go wild to at concerts. and emphasize the time-traveling theme.
On the other hand, the ZOMBiES take the next couple of tracks to slow things down with the track “R.I.P.C.D.” which goes back in time to lament the death of the CD format while exploring the modern consumption of music and how the medium is changing. The simple melody enhanced by the boom-bap drums is a significant part of what makes this track so enjoyable, and it’s almost as if Meech can never run out of things to shock you when he spits the clever line “I just want the head like ISIS.”
“Fly Away” and “Smoke Break” serve as interludes in between the album, and although these tracks are impressive because of their hypnotizing melodies and above average singing, it just seems to be wasteful given the fact that the LP only clocks in at 12 tracks. “Ascension” includes a captivating hook where Meech claims he’s trying to be better than God. Lines like this mixed into the trio’s unapologetic, jaw-dropping bars fill the album. All three rappers throughout each track remain consistent, and when one kills a verse, another ZOMBiE is right there to pick up where the other left off with the same amount of energy and flow.
The album closes on a light note with the track, “Your Favorite Song” where each member spits their longest bars on the album. Erick’s verse seemed to peak my interest the most when he claims that his own father questioned his newfound fame.
It’s captivating how all three were able to channel their emotions into each bar on this track in order to close things off with as much of a bang as they came in. To add to it, a humorous and heartfelt note is included within the track with random people who are fans of the ZOMBiES expressing their love for them and their music. It’s a nice way for the ZOMBiES to thank their fans for sticking with them for the past 4 to 5 years. From dropping D.R.U.G.S. back in 2012 to officially dropping their debut album all while remaining unsigned and independent throughout, the ZOMBiES sure have come a long way.