Brown Bag AllStars have continued to play with the idea of what it means to be a Hip Hop collective in our modern era. The group has largely shunned excessive posse cuts and altogether outings in favor of more concentrated solo releases proudly bearing the stamp of the ensemble as a whole nonetheless. Koncept, for his part, has proven confidently capable of holding down an entire record, though his discography is weighted more heavily towards shorter EP’s like this most recent one.
Malt Disney is a condensed, cohesive effort that benefits from DeeJay Element’s being behind the boards the whole time. Element’s skills are on full display as he airs out the sample in the beginning of “Open Tab.” The six-track EP feels whittled down and free of filler despite being anchored by incessant party talk throughout. Koncept’s raps are crass but fun and carry an air of tongue-in-cheek arrogance the whole way. While he manages a light-hearted humor on nearly every verse, his strongest attribute is an ability to simply own a track with his signature vocal presence. That said, he tends to lean heavily on the same unique, melodic cadence. Thankfully, the approach isn’t overly tiring and opens up his ability for dexterous, multisyllabic rhyme schemes.
The Malt Disney concept is executed to full effect as the EP opens up with Disney’s unmistakable trademark melody being stomped out with a thud; from the onset the feeling is one of a party being crashed. DeeJay Element’s clever chopping and sequencing of soul samples carries the release through easy transitions—aided by the occasional alcohol-themed skit—and helps avoid any listening fatigue (fellow Brown Bag producer J57 is responsible for the EP’s continuously thumping basslines as well). Lyrically, Koncept sticks to his brashness for the most part and shows off an uncanny knack for rhythm with every line. The flashes of introspection are highlights, like when he thinks critically about his own drinking on “Open Tab,” rhyming, “I got these bad bitches / Hip tatted, switch that up, mad bitches / Stop livin’ off your dad’s riches / That’s mad bitches / Livin’ off my dad’s liver / Can’t get out my dad’s slippers / Liquor sippin’ got my fingers twitchin’/ That’s what dad gives ’em…” Overall the EP is dominated by a shit-talking, party Rap feel that suits Koncept perfectly.
Akie Bermiss, an increasingly common hook writer and singer for the Brown Bag camp, is featured on two tracks and continually adds a welcome flair to every song he graces. The Tanya Morgan assisted “Space Mountain” is a quick change of pace and finds all three rappers with battle-ready quips. This track also features an all-too-short DeeJay Element outro with accompanying cuts. The final bonus cut, “Give It Up,” featuring Lawrence-town emcee REKS is a grimy selection that closes out Malt Disney fittingly.
Overall, Koncept has captured another moment more than worthy of the Brown Bag AllStar stamp. Malt Disney isn’t the most ambitious of releases, but finds Kon comfortably in his zone the whole way. In an age of relentless rough-cut loosies, this release is a short and sweet EP with high production value. While the beats are smooth and there are plenty of quotables, the best part of Malt Disney may be that its emcee just sounds like he’s having a good time.
DX Consensus: “EP Worthy”