Review: Social Studies – Proxemics (2011)
Social Studies is comprised of Atlanta-based duo, Zano Bathroom (Emcee) and Chris Devoe (Producer). Signed to Daddy Tank Records (Birmingham, UK) a label dedicated to seeking out unsigned artists. I’ve gotten to know Social Studies when they were featured on BBC 6 Music by Tom Robinson. Social Studies is not your typical Atlanta hip-hop. This duo makes music that is smart and solid. They don’t rap about smoking weed, going to strip clubs, and cars. Bathroom’s rhymes are self aware and extensive.
Proxemics will school you. Cleverly made up of seven ‘assignments’ the tracks are strong and thorough. The tracks as so fluid that at first listen Proxemics sounds like the perfect futuristic/electronic mixtape from space. (Think DJ Shadow) And I’m just talking about the beats there. Producer Chris Devoe samples from old films and vinyl. Devoe’s beats are tight and timed to perfection.
Then we have Bathroom (real last name) who brings an exceptionally refreshing vibe to the album. Half of the album he wrote rhymes for, the other half is all improvisation. A brilliant idea. This showcases the spectrum of Bathroom’s talent. My personal favorite hook comes from Assignment #6 at the 6:11 mark Blocked off spaces/pawns keep moving/people keep loosing/breaking the illusion/at the helm of the realm/ queens speak gruesome/languages brandished and unseen faces. His rhymes have a flow like brilliantly abstract stream of consciousness.
Bathroom and Devoe make the perfect musical couple. As the debut album from Social Studies every assignment is strong enough to stand on it’s own. But I highly suggest that you listen to it full through from start to finish. You will be inspired and pick up something new with each listen. Get yourself schooled and listen check out the album here on Daddy Tank Records.