I like Babe Rainbow. And rap music. A lot. Maybe I like rap music more than you—not that this is a competition. I was genuinely excited when I was assigned to review an album that combines Vancouver-produced dark, atmospheric electronic music and some of my favourite semi-obscure rap tracks.
Disappointingly, the nonsensically titled Let Me Buy U, Anne Drank Volumes 1 & 2 is not a well-matched marriage of these musical styles. I can understand that this is a pet project and a chance to pay homage to, and put a personal spin on a favourite genre; Babe Rainbow has frequently cited rap as one of his musical influences in previous interviews. But the end product of these mixes doesn’t sound like an artist paying respect to a favourite genre. This mixtape sounds like a producer forcing the music sampled to conform to his particular aesthetic, often with unappealing results.
Basically, the tracks of several groups and rappers are all slowed to meet Babe Rainbow’s sluggish beat-per-minute ratio. These altered vocals leave a variety of rappers all sounding like the same dude. And that dude has a deep voice. And he raps reallll slowww.
Particularly disappointing is the remix of “National Anthem” by Freddie Gibbs, while the remixes of “Hell on Earth” by Mobb Deep and “Bloodbath” by the Dayton Family fare better, sounding more menacing than their original incarnations. Still, these two successes are exceptions to the rest of the monotonous mixtape. While not an all-out failure, if you’re a fan of rap, and a fan of Babe Rainbow, it’s probably best to listen to them independently.