The belief of the Stones Throw camp, it seems, has long been “the more ingredients, the better the stew.” Such a theory can sometimes be intimidating to digest in one sitting, but B-Ball Zombie War proves that it can be fun to pig out every now and again.
The record finds Peanut Butter Wolf creating a mixtape in cooperation with the video-game company 2K Sports that is essentially a portfolio of possible upcoming soundtrack jams. All the usual Stones Throw siblings are involved: Madlib, Oh No, the late J Dilla, and Quasimoto, as well as surprise guests Q-Tip and Talib Kweli.
MF Doom makes an appearance alongside Guilty Simpson over a J Dilla beat. Doom’s verse is only mediocre when held up against his resume, but in truth most of his fans are at this point starving for anything new. The most pleasant surprise is Oh No’s “Action (Rap Version),” which reveals that his recent Oxperiment could have been one of the year’s best hip-hop albums had he released it with vocals.
The album is loose and full of zigs and zags, from blunted jazz hip-hop to backpackers’ delights. Like most Stones Throw releases, B-Ball Zombie War is relaxed and certainly not over-thought. It’s also a record peppered with some solid tracks that are worth repeat listens.
“The Zombie Playoffs” podcast: http://stonesthrow.com/podcast/stonesthrow_24_zombieplayoffs.mp3
“Zombie War” video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvHy1uY_T0Y