Words by Clever One
Phil Da Agony, Krondon and Mitchy Slick make up the trio known as Strong Arm Steady, who have been a big part of California’s underground hip-hop scene since the late 90’s. Their ability to consistently give fans something diverse and interesting to listen to comes from the unique voices, styles and backgrounds that make up the group. In 2010, Strong Arm Steady collaborated with producer Madlib to create In Search For Stoney Jackson, which was released through Stones Throw Records and named one of the best albums of 2010 by numerous hip-hop media outlets. 2011 brought the release of Arms & Hammers, where Strong Arm Steady continued the trend over production by DJ Khalil, Nottz, Terrace Martin and Madlib, just to name a few. It’s no surprise that their 2012 release, Stereotype, does not disappoint.
Stereotype, much like In Search for Stoney Jackson, is released through Stones Throw and produced entirely by one beat-smith. This time around it’s Boston area producer Statik Selektah hitting us with beats that combine both East and West Coast sounds beautifully, allowing for everyone involved in this collaboration to shine for 14 tracks. The intro, Truth Of The Truth, gets the album started off right with a kind of spacey, menacing sound that prepares the listener for what lies ahead. The next track on the album, Premium, is another favorite with a hard hitting beat that will make you nod your head until your neck is sore. The psychedelic kaleidoscope visuals in the video for Premium match the song perfectly.
The best songs on the album are probably Classic, where Mitchy Slick exclaims “I am not an alien, I just drive a space car,” L.A. Blues feat. the legendary Planet Asia and Outta Control where Reks absolutely smashes his feature. Other bangers on the album worth mentioning are Forever feat. Chace Infinite of Self Scientific, Born Into It feat. Bad Lucc, Do Ya Thang Girl (JOOK) feat. Casey Veggies & Picaso and Through The Motions feat. David Banner & Fiend.
Go pick this one up and make sure to bump it at high volume. You’ll be happy you did. Stereotype is a great record.