Business for Pleasure released their new album White Collar Ryhmes at the Middle East Downstairs 12.3.
The members of Boston’s Business For Pleasure don’t feel obliged to hide their influences – in fact, a quick sleeve-check showed, during a live set at the Middle East Downstairs last Friday, a range of 90s rap inspirations from Snoop & Dre to A Tribe Called Quest to the Notorious BIG to the Beastie Boys. Though I’m not typically one to judge a music group by the sources that they cite (left that shit back in high school), I do feel inclined to point out how Business for Pleasure’s only real flaw is that they seem to be stuck in a time that can not be recovered. Unfortunately, for these fine music makers there’s no way to sample the nineties.
Short of that, BFP kept it pretty damn real. What appeared at first to be a funk/rock/rap outfit warranting a comparison to a certain band who wrote a song about a Yoruba religion (hint: it’s not Lucumi) became a fairly danceable piece of musicianship in front of my very eyes. Every member of the group was involved in the performance and appeared to be loving it – from MC Jed Lewis letting out his particular brand of complex lyricism to keyboardist Tim Tsang singing a beautiful falsetto harmony over a song about halfway through the set (I couldn’t catch the name…forgive me). Throughout the whole set guitarist Cory Kwan’s catchy hooks and riffs reverberated throughout the basement of the Cambridge venue. It made me wonder: might this kind of musician-centric hip-hop still have a place in the music world beyond the kids bumpin’ The Roots on their headphones?
In all likelihood, no. But a part of me, for the sake of a group as nice-soundin’ as Business For Pleasure, really hopes that I’m wrong.