I’d go so far to say that they are hip hop’s premier, and possibly one of the earliest “alternative” hip hop groups. They fit in well with artists like Grouch, Scarub, Aesop Rock and others in that line. Way less structured and often less melodic than their contemporaries, these guys still represent a pure side of hip hop.
It’s actually a way more electronic-based beat structure too. Instead of the traditional jazz and soul loops, you get some gritty dub sounds, a little drum and bass and all kinds of synth. Not always my cup of tea, but definitely an interesting sound and way different from what you normally hear.
Here’s what Okayplayer had to say about their little live performance.
Three vibrant tongue-twisting rhyme-slaying rappers trading verses in a choreographed manner, like a dance. Anti-pop is not for those who favor light party lyrics; the dense thicket of verbose rapping leaves your head spinning, hanging on that last phrase while trying to catch up with the next. Think “Men At Work” speed with a full Encyclopedia shoved in there. Yes, this is nerd rap, and in my opinion, nerd rap at it’s best. The show ended with M. Sayyid, High Priest and Beans squaring off accapella style as each spit a short verbal nuclear bomb, leaving the room filled with the radiation of their heat.
Just to get a little flavour, here’s Anti-Pop’s “Dead in Motion”.