Golden Rules is an unlikely pair – on paper, anyway. South London beatmaker and producer Paul White collaborates with Florida-based rapper, singer and producer Eric Biddines. Actually, screw that talk of “unlikely” – hip-hop is about taking from all sources, about a love of creation, flow, music – and here White’s great skills with psychedelic hip-hop and Biddines’ laidback flow and on-point lyricism combine to offer something reminiscent of those early Outkast outings. You know back when they were a nice wee secret…
Golden Ticket is brimming with ideas and the duo manages to sell a great version of funk-fuelled party fun (Down South Boogie) while superstar fan Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) guests on Never Die. But for the most part it’s White and Biddines just doing the do, a few pop melodies here and there (Fogged Window), a slightly slickened, smoothed-over Dirty South vibe now and then (Holy Macaroni) and reminders of Arrested Development’s social consciousness (Making A Move).
Golden Rules is that rarity – a hip-hop album through and through that just might meet a fan-base almost entirely removed from hip-hop.
Play Some Luther is a great drinking-on-the-deck summer jam, “I’m gon’ take my shirt off, you gon’ take your skirt off/Play some Luther Vandross” And penultimate track, Life’s Power shows the great understanding this duo has, White’s beats are barely even in the picture when Biddines has something to say, but the rapper knows when and how to sit back for a swell of emotional weight from the music. There’s something beautifully, beatifically cinematic about this record. It’s near otherworldly when it really hits, stirring and swelling and leaving nothing but positivity. A must-hear.