Having been involved with the Los Angeles underground for the last seven years (including his time with the Project Blowed crew, which also included Murs and Aceyalone), Subtitle has already made somewhat of a name for himself as a talented and highly original emcee. With that in mind, his signing to GSL, a label that typically specializes in post-hardcore and no-wave, in 2003 seemed a tad suspicious. Was this an attempt to keep up with the increasing number of indie kids connecting with underground hip-hop, or was it an attempt to release a record by an artist who was relevant to the label?
Young Dangerous Heart, provides the answer. Rapping about .jpeg pixels and name-dropping the likes of the Load Records band Pink and Brown, Young Dangerous Heart exists as both an experiment in new music and a quality hip-hop album. Despite repetitive areas and some incomplete thoughts, this debut shows Subtitle’s versatility on the mike and in the lab.
“Gio-graph-ick” and “Leave Home” show Subtitle in his most natural place, combining freaked-out Moog loops with straightforward beats. Both spacey and intelligible, they prove him worthy of the GSL imprint. Even more impressive are his collaborations. On “Cray Crazy,” Aceyalone, No Can Do and Busdriver kick it smoothly over a dancing synth-line. “Crew Cut (For Sale)” calls upon an extensive cast of West Coast emcees (including No Can Do, 2Mex, LMNO, Existereo, Pterrodacto, PSC_Lucky I am, Awol One, Murs, Vixxin, Puzoozoo Watt, Life Rexall and Busdriver) to each drop a verse over the nine-minute track. Young Dangerous Heart does have its duds, including “Palm Fronds,” which doesn’t match the brilliance of other tracks on the ambitious album. But Subtitle has proven that he has a masterpiece inside him waiting to be recorded.