Negro Galacticus, funk “space cadets” and future pioneers, have done something magical on their debut album, Negro Galacticus (2015). Walty Kibby (drums, vocals), Malik Deering (guitar, bass, vocals), Steve Francell “48” Fortier (bass, guitar, vocals), and RawDre Spears (vocals, bass, madbars) take pride in showcasing their West Side and Los Angeles blood, alongside hip-hop influences, funk, and jazz fused experimentation, through wide ranges of vocal abilities, clever word play and raps, and simple harmonies.
The 9 track compilation album is one of the most interesting fusions I’ve come across, and to say the least, the most addicting. The opening track, “Getting Ready,” does just as it implies for the album, as the guitar’s smooth chords, drums, and bass warm up the ears, leading down a path not expected. By the 30 second mark, rapping starts and compliments the melodic voices, with equally vivid lyrics and effortless rhyming. The momentum picks up smoothly from this track to “Wildin’ Out,” a reassuring track of the band’s skills, which is also reiterated lyrically in “Solistice Sunrise.” The only track that I wasn’t a fan of was “Space Fish.” While it can be appreciated alone, under a different punk-rock and ska genre, it disturbs the flow of the album.
“I’m From The Westside,” is a proud anthem to Los Angeles, as the band introduces where the “f*ck” they’re from, with smooth funk, and drumming that captures the song from the very start; making any Los Angeles native proud to say where they’re from. The band’s humor and personality shines here and also on the track, “Encounter With P’tah,” while the track, “Daijoubu,”showcases the band’s simplicity with a vocal loop and instrumentation. Wrapping up the album, and the band’s idea, is the track, “Journey From Andromeda.” A personal favorite that has the right dose of reggae, funk, and smooth lines that seem to stand out than other tracks on the album, and delivering the message in being yourself, heard musically, and embedded in the lyrics. Small musical resemblance to the chorus of Outkast’s, “Ms. Jackson,” this track goes back and forth on different wavelengths perfectly displaying the creativity and “vertical infinity,” that is Negro Galacticus.
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