Beginning with their early independent releases through 2000's Capitol debut, The Platform, The trio has made it a mission to keep rap's roots strong while making sure the branches continue to flourish outward. "You have to always respect your roots," Rakaa notes, "but at the same time you need to push forward and be open to new things. You have to be willing to go new places."
"People are running hard out there," Rakaa says, "trying to compete with the next man in the next lane, or with that they think success is. Then they get frustrated because they can't run fast enough to keep up with what's going on. I'm just letting cats know that life's a marathon. Figure out what you're trying to do, find your pace, and just go. You might not be the first person to cross the line but if you stick with it and do your thing, you'll get where you need to go."
"The beauty of Dilated Peoples is that we haven't reached where we're supposed to go yet," notes Evidence. "We've always tried to build on the last thing we did, nurture that and make it grow bigger." Like Rakaa always says; "The objective is to keep the same people in the front row, just make the audience go back even farther."
|Since their beginnings as pioneers of Los Angeles' progressive underground rap scene, Dilated Peoples have been celebrated as one of hip-hop's most provocative and imaginative collectives. Neighborhood Watch - their much-anticipated third Capitol Records release - is the acclaimed trio's most fully realized collection thus far, a remarkably accomplished development of their idiosyncratic meld of inspired beats, ill turntablism and brisk, bright wordplay. Tracks such as the thought-provoking "Big Business" and the soulfully energetic single "This Way" offer amble proof of the power of rap in its purest form - two skilled MCs and an extraordinarily inventive DJ.|
"It's a continuation of the Dilated Peoples sound," says Evidence, " but at the same time, I feel that it's a better record than the last two. I think it shows the power and timelessness of our music."
"It's still imagery, battle hymns and political poetry," says Rakaa. "It's still big beats, big cuts. But hopefully we've gotten better as songwriters, as artists, as people."
If their previous album - 2001's breakthrough Expansion Team - found Dilated Peoples opening up their style to the world around them, Neighborhood Watch sees the group bringing it all back home, focusing their widescreen worldview on their native Los Angeles.
"Chunky, hook-laden songs like ÒTryin' to Breathe" and ÒThis Way" show a newfound sonic confidence... Dorian Lynskey, Guardian Unlimited
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: J. Rocc, 2Mex (vocals).|
|Audio Mixers: Manny Marroquin; Richard Huredia; Troy Staton.|
|Recording information: D & D Studios; Daddy's Room; Larrabee Sound Studios West; Soundproof Recordings; The Nodd Factor, Houston, TX; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA.|
|Dilated Peoples--there could hardly be a more apt name for the long-running California rap crew who, with only three members, sound like a much larger collective as they expand a potent West Coast-heyday sound into bold new territory. Inspiration runs high on Dilated Peoples' NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH (the outfit's third album on Capitol after countless underground releases), as revealed by the single "This Way." Joined by Kanye West, one of the most celebrated and prolific rapper/producers of 2004, the trio melds a gospel-tinged R&B sound with a wandering flute line and layers lyrics that range from silly-but-clever observations about girls and money to raw revelations about the sadness of life.|
|NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH opens on a powerful beat provided by the Alchemist, with the troupe sagely rhyming on "Marathon" and keeping up the pace throughout the solid, insightful record. The group's talent for twisting around language is most evident on tracks like the introspective "Tryin' to Breathe," which, true to its name, practically suffocates with its tight flow of words, as the trio illustrates its route from the streets to rap success. Dilated Peoples are clearly one of the most intelligent rap groups on the scene, and NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH displays how their smart brand of hip-hop has led to a remarkable career.|
Producer: DJ A.M.; DJ Babu; Evidence; Rakaa; Joe Chavez; Rob Tewlow; Kanye West; Alchemist
Engineer: Dilated Peoples; Domo; Wassim Zreik; Kieran Walsh; Richard Huredia; Troy Staton
|Phil Da Agony|
Associated Artists and Works
|Release Date : 04/06/2004|
|Original Release Date : 2004|
|Catalog ID : 40889|
|Label : Capitol|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00724354088926|
- 3 stars out of 5 - "Dilated haven't lost their gritty tone, but it looks like this neighborhood is risin' up."
- "[Babu's] blend of hand claps, tribal drums, and squawking horns throughout the disc should get even the most stubborn necks nodding." - Rating: B
- 3 stars out of 5 - "LA's Dilated Peoples write about Real Issues and wear their knowledge of rap history on their baggy sleeves..."