Have you ever been sitting in your office, moments after being yelled at for using the wrong format for a report or after being told that the conference call you stayed late to be on was cancelled, and thought “I could write a whole album of songs about this BS.” Well, don’t waste your time because 8090 has beat you to it. Covering all the minutiae of the daily grind and the highs and lows that come along with it, Work Music tackles the day-to-day obstacles of surviving in an office with humor and keen observation.
This album has been out for a while now, but it took me a good number of spins before I really think I got it. The duo of Andy Metz and Seth Williams pay tribute to their west coast roots with the music, and somehow they make songs about work fun. Right from the beginning you get an idea of what you’re in for, when Williams says “Racks on racks on racks? No I got boss on boss on boss. So many directors givin me directives it’s a full-time job not getting lost.” If you’ve never worked in an office-setting this album may not be for you, but if you have then you will easily relate to the rhymes.
I thought these guys were a little bit younger than me, but a couple influences I picked up on tell me otherwise. I know Andy a little bit, he has two other music projects that I’ve come across over the past two years. Seth I don’t know at all, only met him in passing once, but they seem like your average late twenty-somethings. The first few times I heard Work Music I knew there was a west coast vibe, but I think I’ve narrowed it down to a few bay area artists that are the main contributors to 8090’s youth. Digital Underground, Rappin 4 Tay, E-40, and Too Short. If you like any of those artists, (and who doesn’t love Cocktails?) then you will probably enjoy hearing this modern take on that early 90’s style.
I was nervous when I saw the announcement about a rap album from Andy that this was going to trail into Lonely Island-type territory. Thankfully it isn’t anything like that. The comedy on Work Music comes in the form of real situations and responses rather than bizarre or ludicrous fantasies. They do a good job of mixing between fun bangers like “Raise Up!” and the more true-to-life tracks like “Resignation” and “City Lights.”
There are a few ingredients that make up most rap albums: drugs, sex, money, and murder. Work Music features three of these, and is no worse for leaving out the fourth. In the end it’s all about being the best you possible, giving your all to everything you do and taking life in stride. It’s easy to overlook because the beats aren’t as big as Kanye’s, and the lyrics aren’t as titillating as Danny Brown’s, but I’d much rather hear a positive record that makes me feel good than one I feel bad dancing to.