In high school, a friend wrote an article for the school paper titled “In Defense of Mediocrity.” Much like Brett Stevens’s idea that intelligence is not the sole indicator of success (or, as Chris Rock puts it, “How smart is your comedy if you don’t make people laugh?”), my friend argued for the social validity of the mediocre. In truth, the piece felt like an adolescent jab at the pomp surrounding the school’s “highly gifted” program. However, his point bears consideration – especially today. After all, a very unwise man once said, “To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say, well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States.”
Such, then, is the space inhabited by a group such as Move.meant. Talented yet ordinary compared to the stars, disciplined yet unglamorous in philosophy, honest yet matte in appearance, the Los Angeles-based trio’s aptly titled The Good Money EP is just that: good. Not good meaning great, but good meaning good.
Drummer/producer J. Beats, DJ Spider and emcee Champ take life literally and, subsequently, they craft literal takes on life. Following the oft-cited blueprint of melodic (mostly piano and horn) hooks, goose-necking breaks and scratch choruses, each song unfolds in a nostalgically familiar manner. The lead single and title cut big-ups blue-collar lessons in life, and “Move On” modestly outlines how to pass through life without being passed by. The palatable formula has proven successful; “Str8upindown” and “Problems” have appeared in the soundtrack to the ethno-drama film Crash (previous tracks have popped up in television, such as the teen series Joan of Arcadia). Skirting the fluff and pomp of entertainment, Move.meant modestly uses hip-hop as an observational tool. While this approach may not be challenging either to the members of the group or to the audience, their accomplishments indicate there will always be a place for them. So, why ask for anything more?
Move.meant Web site (streaming audio)