The live hip-hop band The Mouse Outfit released their third album, Jagged Tooth Crook. Over 30 different musicians, producers, and vocalists collaborated on the album. The record is a giant melting pot of talent, and centers around the head bopping beats of The Mouse Outfit. Throughout the album, I get a sense of diversity, yet I’m drawn back to the core groove.
Jagged Tooth Crook transforms from beginning to end, and continuously evolves, becoming stronger and faster as it moves forward. The Mouse Outfit is soulful and smooth in songs like “Money” and “Mama,” closer to the beginning of the album. Pretty much any track with the award-winning IAMDDB is laced with a lovely melody.
Her enchanting voice warmly travels through “Feeling High,” “I Wonder,” and “My Mission.” My favorite IAMDDB track on the album is the opener, “Pass Me the Ashtray,” where the vocalist sings through a humming, jazz-fueled beat. The melody is like a dream with sax, synths, and echoing vocals.
The songs progressively transition into a harder rapping style with artists Kinkai, Blacc Berry, Dubbul O, and Ellis Meade. “Jagged Tooth Crook” is a flowing song with a soft beat, where Kinkai gets to really explore his style without any other features. The fastest paced song on the album, “Trigger the Wave,” starts is a snare-based song surrounding breakneck flow and lyrics spit like a machine gun. The words pop like fireworks off the tongues of Dubbul O and Ellis Meade.
“Beats All Day” is a funkier beat with a bouncing energy, perfect for breakdancing. “Late Night Doors” is a great song to close the album. Dubbul O, Berry Blacc, and Ellis Meade rap together over a basic, yet darker piano sample, and give the essence that they are indeed rapping behind “late night doors.”
The Mouse Outfit Verify There’s No ‘I’ in ‘Team’
The most striking aspect of Jagged Tooth Crook is the collaborative effort to make the album work as one organism. There isn’t one artist that the album focuses on. Even The Mouse Outfit isn’t the primary artist. It’s a group effort between The Mouse Outfit and various producers and vocalists. I think that this tactic serves well as proving hip-hop can be much like an orchestra. Both are valiant art forms. Well done.