Busdriver is not an artist that has to strive too hard to be original. He has created his own brand of alternative hip-hop and has been perfecting it since the early 2000s. Also never one too shy away from the bizarre and obscure, the opening track of his latest album, ‘Ode To Retirement’ breaks down the individual costs of making this album, reassuring the listener that they are in for something completely different.
His excellent wordplay is on display throughout the 10 tracks. ‘Motion Lines’ is just one example of his ability to captivate the listener with intelligent, insightful verses that usually require more than one listen to fully grasp. It also gives him a chance to stretch his vocal chords, crooning with his best Anthony Kiedes impression. His flow is versatile enough to keep up with the abnormal time signatures and you get the idea that he could rap over just about any beat convincingly.
The only major weak point on the album is ‘Ego Death’, which features hip-hop’s polar opposites Aesop Rock & Danny Brown. Neither of them delivers particularly memorable verses and the production from Jeremiah Jae grows stale mid way through the 6 minute track. Both rappers will expose Busdriver’s music to a new audience by appearing as guests but it is just another example of an album being slightly let down by the unnecessary addition of featured artists.
The independent attitude of Busdriver in no way limits his sound. A lot of the standout production was handled by Driver himself and is on such a grand scale that even the egotistical Kanye West would be jealous. Each track brings you on a different, hypnotic and often bass-filled trip and Perfect Hair as a whole is as enjoyable as it is unique. If there was ever a perfect crossover between science fiction and hip hop, it is no longer the Beastie Boys’ video for ‘Intergalactic’, it is this album.