CD Review: The Bad Tenants

The Bad Tenants
Eloquent Scoundrels Vol. 2
Self Released

In the world of hip hop, where gold chains and 24” rims reign, Bad Tenants break the mold. There newest album Eloquent Scoundrels Vol. 2 (which is dedicated to the loving memory of Todd Damon Faulkner) is a beautiful blend of hip-hop, jazz, blues and soul that brings back the fundamental elements that made hip-hop great.
On the opening track “Paint By Numbers,” Courtney Crooks delivers a sultry vocal on the hook, which complements the cool vocal samples and guitars on the beat. The trio of emcees takes turns delivering smooth verses on the track, while the DJ cuts up the samples on the bridge and chorus. On the track “10th Grade Dropout” a bouncing piano sample gives the perfect backdrop for a lyrical ode to growing up with messed up parents and finding yourself through music. On this track we see, “He discovered his mistress in music, she was his muse, it’s not so strange to admit” It is great metaphor and something that many musicians and teens can relate with.
You can see that this album not only has some great beats and musical skill, but the lyrics have substance and deliver on many levels.
If you are looking for a great local hip-hop group with beats and rhymes that bring back the true skills of hip-hop, being an MC, DJ, or producer, then the Bad Tenants are definitely worth checking out. This six track EP is laid back and mixes several styles of music to create a beautiful hip hop sound that really impresses upon the listener. Lastly the mixing and engineering on the album is great, nice work IG88 and Jesus Chris Willis.
Unfortunately, this will be the last recording of The Bad Tenants as a Bellingham band. DJ IdlHands has moved to Seattle, leaving the last formal connection to Bellingham. The Bad Tenants will be missed.
-Mike Roe