It is 2 A.M. and I finished reading the Stan Lee & Gil Kane/ John Romita Sr. omnibus of Spider-Man. The next thing that would be best to follow that? Music. American Anime, by the Spidey home-based P.SO The Earthtone King and 2 Hungry Bros, is the perfect palate cleanser. Thankfully, New York’s American Anime album reaches out to everyone that has a love for hip-hop and comics…
This record manages to be completely refreshing, all of the while embedding itself as a classic. American Anime is an amalgamation of flowing lyrics, familiar yet new beats, and — again! — a love for comic books/manga/graphic novels. The tracklist takes the listener as they could be a comic enthusiast and then through the life of being a fan of the culture.
The song list is as follows:
1. Bags and Boards
2. Henry Cavill’s Mustache (featuring Mega Ran, Moses Rockwell and Likwuid)
3. Daredevil for Dummies
4. Nanites in my Blood (Bloodshot)
5. Star Wars IV Dummies
6. Avengers Assemble (featuring James Brandon Lewis)
7. Game of Thrones Theories
8. The Story of No-Face/Spirited Away (Deep Remix).
The moment you read the first page of any comic, to becoming a fan that hits their LCS (local comic shop) every Wednesday is encapsulated within the song, “Bags and Boards”. “Dressed like a nerd and I acted anxious,” “I saw my whole life between the pages” are just some of the lyrics that are common ground where anyone can relate. 2 Hungry Bros mix together beats that seamlessly counter P.SO with his pinpoint perfection to have a lyrically unique take on comics.
Hip-hop and comic culture have always lived hand-in-hand, which makes this album utterly refreshing. Hip-hop has always made comic fandom an integral part of the lyrics and treated it as a way to escape the darker instances of life. This track easily belongs in the annals with the likes of Method Man, who refers to himself as Johnny Blaze, and M.F. Doom, who puts the image of himself out as, well, Doctor Doom. There is a clear appreciation for comics as any one fan knows to keep your comics bagged and boarded.
“Henry Cavill’s Mustache” not only has a tongue-in-cheek title, but is also a well versed track. With the featured guests, the emcees play off the beats and breaks like experts trained by Agent Coulson. There are nothing but Easter-egg gems on this track. Likwuid drops the line that personifies her style on the track: “Jessica Jones, beast mode.” The beat on this track is slightly slow, but the artists are dropping lyrics at a fast pace.
“Daredevil for Dummies” is a song that is self-explanatory. It is bars being spit describing the history of Hell’s Kitchen’s very own man without fear; Matt Murdock a.k.a. Daredevil. This song should be easily compared with any New York anthem track. “Nanites in my Blood (Bloodshot)” is a track that is a truly rising spirit as the symbol on Bloodshot’s chest. The track pays creative respect to the Valiant Comics icon. In the lyrics there are multiple comparisons to other sci-fi shows and movies like Westworld, Blade Runner, and Ghost in The Shell. The track ends with a killer riff.
“Avengers Assemble”‘s jazz breaks between the rhymes are refreshing and it has a laid back chorus. Most definitely “Assemble the squad, the streets is hot right now”. “Game of Thrones Theories” delves into some aspects of HBO’s goliath of a show where the theories off Bran Stark’s possible connection to The Night King and (spoilers) the end result of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen’s relationship. It is a lyrically intellectual track spits out Fire and Ice. “The Story of No-Face/Spirited Away (Deep Remix)” is the best track. Or at least the way the entire record plays out, this is a strong way to end an album. “No-Face is giving nuggets of gold,” and with American Anime, P.SO the Earthtone King and 2 Hungry Bros put out their own nuggets of gold.
“Bags and Boards” has a video on YouTube, just up above. Shot and edited by Nicholas Ortiz, the one minute video contains a lyrical journey, black & white with a Kevin Smith/Clerks vibe that is fitting to the lyrics of the song and what it is about. American Anime is nerd hip-hop heaven. Hell, The tracklist alone should be enough to get everyone on board. 4.75/5 Bibles.