Four4s Is a London born and raised hip hop duo comprised of Abstrax and Timi R. The two are childhood friends who in the past would occasionally drop rhymes at school and several London hangouts. The two constructed a home studio and used it to create their debut album 4th Kind. With 17 songs varying in length from 3 to 7 minutes, the album is a behemoth. However the length of the album allows its creators to cover a truly astonishing number of topics in their lyrics.
The opening track “I’m Home” serves as a story all about the Four4s home studio and how that is where they feel most at home. You will also find more personal love in songs like “Number 4 (Freestyle),” “One Mic,” “Rhyming and Climbing” and closing number “The Fourth Kind.” But 4th Kind is way more than just an album about a couple of London Town boys spitting lines about themselves. The duo voices wisdom on British politics, the war in Iraq, terrorism, poverty and a very chilling case of rape found in the song “Stolen Dream.” The lyrics are at times very gritty and profane but if you can get past that and decipher the inner messages, there is a great deal of worldly knowledge and insight to be found.
The lyrics are not the standout to this album though. It is instead the superb sound production and mixing done by Abstrtax. There are a lot of songs on this album and there is so much going on in each of these songs, the fact that all of these things can come together and sound so tightly produced is a testament to just how good a producer he is. Listen to “Rhyming and Climbing” or “Yeah To The Bullshit” and you will see just how good Abstrax is at taking several different sounds and spinning them into songs.
If you can bear the vulgarity and sheer length of 4th Kind, you will find that it is a beautifully mixed and mastered album that tells the story of two long time friends who not only share a common history, but also a common sociopolitical outlook on life in the current day. This is perhaps summed up best by the song “Interlude (4th Kind)” Not only does it tell about the process of making the album and address the topics discussed on this album, it also enlightens as to why Four4s are a duo that is fresh.
Luke Williams grew up a fan of punk and pop punk in a field of cows just outside of Barrie, Ontario. You can follow him on Twitter @musicwithluke