After 2 years since their last project, Flatbush Zombies have again set their freak flag loose on their newest album, Vacation In Hell. With the strong hooks from Zombie Juice, the wild and absurd personality of Meechy Darko, and the immaculate production from Erick The Architect, the Zombies bring major heat across the 19 track record.
With the project being an hour and 15 minutes, one might think listening to it could be a bore without even being halfway done with it. However, the creativity that the trio brings on this album is something special. They are more versatile than ever, which can partly be credited to Erick’s genius. From the lurching and heavy intro “HELL-O” to the bouncy and party-ready “Big Shrimp” to the cloudy and depressive “Trapped”, every moment is packed with new ideas and exploration. Speaking of “Trapped”, it features one of the darkest verses I’ve heard this year from Meechy Darko, acting as a death note to his friends, fans and family, read out over a cloudy and haunting instrumental.
These low-key instrumentals are contrasted with trunk-knocking beats placed elsewhere on the album to make a vast palette of sounds that the group has finally perfected. Each song sounds different than one another and there are some serious left-field bangers to discuss here like “M.Bison” and “Crown” with Portugal. The Man, which goes extremely smoothly and results in an irresistible song.
Not to be ignored, however, are the lyrics. These songs can go bar to bar with some of the most technical in the game, and the fact that the Zombies aren’t stars upsets me to say the least. The single “Headstone” sports some of the most absurd and creative rhymes I’ve heard in a while, with old-school references like “Kiss of Death and Protect Ya Neck, Shame on a Nigga/
Three Dope Boys In a Cadillac, Gravediggaz” being woven through the rattling beat. Another higlight for me is “Proxies”, which features a grand, vocal beat that the group glides over perfectly.
Overall, the Flatbush Zombies have made another statement of a record. If this doesn’t prove to you that they are one of the best doing it, I don’t know what they’ll have to do. The beats, the bars, the flows are all here, on top of the fact that these three are some of the most original MC’s to rhyme in a minute. Check this out.