National Album Review: Numbers by Mellowhype

Posted on October 15, 2012 in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture
By Sam Hill

Sam Hill | The Free Press

Mellowhype has made it to the big leagues with the release of their major label debut album, Numbers, but need a little practice before they’ll be considered a top player.

The alternative hip hop duo, consisting of rapper Hodgy Beats and producer Left Brain, brings a more traditional rap performance to the table, for the most part leaving behind the shocking lyrics, satanic imagery and brash, punk attitude of previous albums and those of their fellow OFWKTA-collective members. Numbers feels more like a dudes-just-chillin’ style of rap, which is a refreshing break from what they’ve offered in the past.

Numbers is relaxed and inviting, sounding like more of a hangout session than a serious album. Hodgy Beats continues to deliver interesting, underrated verses and is able to play around with more serious subject matter away from the other Odd Future hooligans, recording tracks such as “Under 2” where he talks about his family: “I have a little boy / He’s my happiness, my little joy.” Don’t worry though, Hodgy hasn’t completely cleaned up and is far from Will Smith status. He’s still known to drop a nasty line or two.
Left Brain comes through with production just like he has on every other OFWGKTA release, filling the album with his special blend of minimalist, abstract and futurisitc beats. He even joins in on the rapping, delivering a wacky verse the stellar single, “La Bonita.” If anything, Left Brain consistently releases unique productions that couldn’t come from the mind of any other producer in the game.

In addition to the two core members, Numbers brings Odd Future stars Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt on for some features. Ocean brings a soothing, pop hook to “Astro” and Sweatshirt kills a verse on “P2” with his notorious unorthodox flow. The Odd Future crew is still sticking together even though they’re all experiencing different levels of individual success.

Numbers isn’t groundbreaking, it’s what was expected. Mellowhype doesn’t disappoint or impress, offering fans a mellow, relaxing album, giving them a break from their usual punk antics. They’re one of most original hip hop acts performing right now, and this debut proves that they’ll still be able to deliver on a national, professional level.