If this experiment blasts off, "butterfat boom-bap" might be the new genre title you hear about this fall. It's the organic essence of the almost-drum-and-bass rap of the title track (think the Roots' You Got Me outro), which sets the tone for the lead MC's Q-Tip-and-Will.I.Am-ish inspirational expressions.
Slakah the Beatchild is almost like Common when mic-rocking and could have appeared more to balance the momentum. Interestingly, AOF's tempos are often faster than 110 bpms, but that doesn't always succeed. D.O.'s voice has evolved since his Defy The Odds album, and he's obviously taking a new direction in this side project, as the Guinness Book Of World Records champion freestyle MC shows none of that ferocity here.
Almost anachronistic in 2008, their style will certainly polarize people, who will either appreciate the journey or abandon ship. But bravely bridging the gap between the early 90s and tomorrow, if Art of Fresh sought to go where virtually no one has gone before, mission accomplished.
Art of Fresh play Harlem tonight (Thursday, August 28).