Hop Hop (aka Jaz Frazier) has delivered us from evil and boredom and into the future on her inspired and hypnotically irresistible new EP Scratch, and it’s our enthusiastic Album of the Week. A precision MC that bends time and space with her impeccable flow so that every consonant, vowel, word, and complex thought comes at you as if it (and you) are suspended in space like the visual effects in The Matrix movies and given a chance to inspect and savor all of it, Hop Hop does not play on Scratch, sharing and going deep while giving you the funky beats and jams you need.
A concentrated headrush, Scratch comes at you fast with a fully realized sound that fills your ears with all kinds of incredible sonic sweetness courtesy of the pristine and ambitious production from Jaz and Brandon Schlia. There’s a fine sense of whimsy at work throughout the EP reminiscent of early De La Soul that’s of a piece with the brilliantly bonkers word play, whether it’s the trippy minimalism of the verses to “Spoonin” bouncing off the surprisingly urgent choruses, or the lysergic samples floating underneath the anthemic “I Don’t Care” and the blazed up “Mister Sandman,” a classic ode to your friend of a friend of a friend.
The sounds on Scratch from Jaz and Schlia fill your ears with a tremendous range of frequencies that frees your mind from your body and any expectations you have about what local hip hop can do in 2018, and that’s before Hop Hop brings the velvet gloved, 2018 state of the art MC excellence. My only beef is that the trip is too quick, but the concentrated, subatomic goodness of Scratch is undeniable and it leaves you wanting what’s next, so it does it’s job as an EP, and that’s the thing. Check it out below, and stay tuned.