With their new mixtape, It Happened in Flatbush, The Underachievers offer 10 quick-hitting bangers that re-emphasize their ability to generate hype. Although the album doesn’t manage to incorporate catchy hooks or vocal features, its fast moving nature and heavy production entertain from front to back.
Lyrically, the mixtape touches upon themes of perseverance and success. On Gangland the duo repeates the line “We started from the back, now we tour around the map” as the refrain. This line is straightforward and the rest of the song touches upon the group’s history of creating a name for themselves in the rap community. The album also has its collection of typical rap bragging with a touch of sexism; “That pussy can’t lock me up, cuz I destroy it.”
Although well done, the production on this mixtape falls short of notable. Most of the songs move at around the same tempo with basic hard hitting electronic beats complimenting the energy behind the verses. “John Lennon” provides a beat indicative of the sound conception of the whole tape. Here, a deep bass line is highlighted by a looping keyboard sound with more synthesizers entering as the song develops.
Upon first impression, I felt like It Happened in Flatbush operated very well as a mixtape, but not as an album. A Mixtape is meant to be a short breath of music from an artist that gives the listener a decent impression of their musicality and allows them to reinforce their position in the rap game. The Underachievers certainly accomplish this very well as each of the 10 songs hits hard and emphasizes the duo’s accomplishment in making a name for themselves. It falls short of the impact of most albums as the group does not attempt to weave intricate story lines and the mixtape lacks stand out tracks or.