In Los Angeles, on the corner of Fairfax and Rosewood, dipped in all black, The Hundreds’ first flagship shop stands at the center of the streetwear hub. There, Alexander Spit can often be seen working and/or smoking a cigarette in shades, taking in the L.A. breeze and smog. Diverse crowds gather in front of the store, across from Retna covered walls and movie posters in front of an empty lot. That diversity mixed with the young excitement surrounding the area and the multicultural influences that make up the scene must have truly influenced Spit’s A Breathtaking Trip to that Otherside.
There’s a psychedelic flare to his Otherside. Spit’s production is covered with soothing smoothness reminiscent of Portishead, particularly shining on “A Breathtaking Trip” with Bago’s piercing vocals backing him. Their chemistry returns later on “Sluts Kiss French,” with a slowed down ambiance that allows Spit to flow along with Bago’s harmony. That same sound mixes well with a raw and more traditional Hip Hop nod via scratches on the Alchemist assisted “Getaway Car.” This changes again with a more Bay-centric “Ride (Chicken Wit The Odds)” and the E-40-fied “BNE Remix” with Mr. MFN Exquire. This mixture of styles works well for Spit as an intriguing sound bed adorns his release. But overall, it’s a psychedelic ride, ending appropriately with “Death.”
The trip is also one he takes with words. On “Black Magic On Blue Magic,” Spit explains, “My spine is my coastline / So we gon’ shine.” Indeed, his words shine particularly with metaphors like that. He continues later with “Lakes,” saying, “She gets stares from the passin’ piranhas / But she the only swan left in the pond after tsunamis.” While his Trip has much to praise with lines like those mentioned, there are also some bumps in the road. At times, Spit’s production can outweigh his rhymes, overshadowing his mic presence, especially when songs have longer intros (“Honeymoon in a Motel Room”). Guests like E-40 and Action Bronson (“Artesia”) also find it easy to overshadow the young emcee. But for the most part, Spit manages to craft intriguing cuts with words to match on the album.
In the end, it may not exactly be a Breathtaking Trip, but it does take the listener to a different side. And though it isn’t without flaws, the album is intriguing enough to bring more ears to Spit’s work. It is a great sign of what’s to come from the emcee/producer both on the microphone and behind the boards. Much like that Hundreds store resting on Rosewood Avenue in Los Angeles, A Breathtaking Trip To That Otherside is a mixture of cultures, influences and styles and it’s a strong introduction to Alexander Spit.