Throughout his career, Justin Pearson (Retox, Dead Cross, founder of Three One G Records) has fearlessly jumped from project to project with little regard for genre restrictions. His newest one, Planet B, proves this maxim.
Basically, Planet B is an alt hip hop band, where he teams up with producer Luke Henshaw (First Power Crew) and a whole bunch of guest artists such as Kool Keith, Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and Martin Atkins (PIL, Ministry), among others, to craft an album that connects the dots between hardcore, hip hop, industrial, and horror movie soundtracks.
While this might seem a strange move to some people, Pearson and Henshaw have created an exciting and timely piece of genre splicing. It’s unlike anything you will hear this year.
It also must be noted that Pearson’s delivery is spot-on. He shout-raps in a way that perfectly suits the urgency of the music. This is no lame, rap-rock hybrid. It has more in common with Death Grips and labelmates Dalek than anything else currently going on in hip hop. Pearson has added another weapon to his musical arsenal.
“Crustfund” opens up the album featuring some righteous raps from Pearson as well as a guest spot rap from Kool Keith that comes out of left field but totally fits. “Join A Cult” is more ominous, while “Disease Control,” which feature Sonny Kay of The VSS, is an angry screed at the current state of our union.
“Manure Rally” is another song that takes dead aim at our current political climate in an urgent, prescient way. “Come Boogeyman,” which features Martin Atkins, is an ominous slice of industrial-tainted hip hop. They even throw in a cover of Depeche’s Mode “Never Let Me Down,” which features Nick Zinner. It is more urgent than the original but manages to retain the original’s feel.
Pearson and Henshaw have created something truly unique and special with Planet B. This is musical genre-splicing of the highest order and is easily one of the most exciting and fresh sounding albums released this year. It’s no wonder the full length landed on Ipecac after a couple of 7″ releases on Three One G. It totally fits by not fitting in. Anybody into adventurous music that pushes boundaries will find much to like on here. It’s a crucial piece of agitpop.