A-L's Future Classic Music would be best enjoyed in a smokey lounge, perhaps with a dry martini or a fine cigar, amid electric light from neon tubes. The album blends classic jazz and golden-age hip-hop samples with elements of futuristic hip-hop and house, so the title rings true, even if the disc doesn't necessarily live up to the "classic" status it designates for itself. A-L's production is the primary focus here; he doesn't do any rapping, and the prevalence of instrumentals, along with the inclusion of an instrumental of every track appended at the end, does make this feel a bit like a beat tape. But A-L's posse of guest rappers is no half-hearted collection: With underground heavyweights like Craig G, Edo G and Kam Moye, Future Classic Music is sure to appeal to any hip-hop purist, and with its timeless, laid-back sound, it deserves a go from anybody looking for a casual listen.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.