Bay area based hip hop collective, AG Club, dropped part two of the group’s double album project “F*ck Your Expectations,” on April 30th. Both albums complement each other and showcase the artistry and depth of the group. The project boasts of successes, while still featuring introspection and vulnerability that was prominent on the group’s debut album “Halfway Off the Porch.”
AG Club has mastered boisterousness and wit, as each member feeds almost parasitically off the other. The result is a double album that is produced airtight for a relatively new group.
Typically, it takes time for groups to find their sound and to really get comfortable with each other, but AG Club thrives in not being pigeonholed to genre. AG Club, AG standing for “avant garde,” is a collective with a core trio of rappers – Jody Fontaine, Baby Boy and producer Mick Antony – hoping to redefine what hip hop means. They do this by basically taking the definition of avant garde and applying it to music. They appear to be successful in this endeavor – melding sub genres of rap and hip hop to solidify their presence in the music scene.
Releasing a double album as a debut project is ambitious for a young group. This sentiment seemed to be held by their management too. Part one features a voicemail interlude from AG Club’s management urging them to finish the album.
“The first f*cking album isn’t done yet … finish the fucking album and then let’s have a conversation about when and where you record the next project,” management said.
Clearly, there was a worry about that the zealous two-part album AG Club recorded was perhaps out of order. However, rest assured, both parts were finished rather faultlessly.
As if to send a message back to their management, the following tracks off part one are all standouts. On “Columbia,” one of the singles released prior, the group raps over what can only be described as an air raid siren sound. There is an unmatchable energy that AG Club brings to so much of their music, and it’s consistent throughout the entire project.
Following “Columbia” is “NOHO,” which is perhaps the best cut from both parts. It features more innovative instrumentals and an irresistible bass hook.
“Say it sound like the South and it sound like the East Coast,” Fontaine raps.
Here, he emphasizes that AG Club doesn’t have just one sound. Blending elements of hip hop, AG Club has the wit and humor that is prominent in hip hop from the South, but also the bravado and self assurance that shines through in much of East Coast rap.
There is no box to limit the AG Club to and, while “Fuck Your Expectations” features many hard-hitting tracks, the group lets listeners see a more vulnerable side to them.
“Finding time to reveal myself/ Can we fly and not kill ourselves/ I can’t breathe without you … I just want to breakthrough/ I just want to break,” the group raps on “I Know,” off of part two.
Here, for a moment, we see a waver in the confidence that runs through the project so deeply. Rather than seeing AG Club, the upcoming hip hop trio, the listener hears the worries of a few twenty-something-year-olds still trying to navigate through life. They ground themselves in these moments and relate to their audience during a time when growing up seems harder than ever before.
AG Club’s debut double album emerges with raw honesty, insatiable tenacity and freshness. There is surely an upward trajectory for the collective that is genre defying and they are demonstrating that there’s no correct way to do hip hop.
Listen To (Part One): “NOHO,” “HOT PINK” and “A Bitch Curious”
Listen To (Part Two): “QUESO,” “GUAYAKI” and “Youtube2MP3”