While the world is in awe of the big release of Cardi B’s debut album, there was a sophomore project that came out as well from the Flatbush Zombies, hailing from the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. The trio unveiled Vacation In Hell, a great piece of modern hip-hop creations. The group consists of Meechy Darko, Erick Arc Elliot (who doubles as their main producer), and Zombie Juice. This body of work is everything you want from a New York hip-hop trio. There are bars, great beats, bars, melodies, and oh, did I mention bars? Sonically, it’s easy on the ears. It’s great riding music, as well as a piece to re-listen to and find new gems. There are elements of horrorcore spread throughout, reminiscent of The Gravediggaz and early Three 6 Mafia. The title is a major factor, but once you look past what are essentially just words, you will be rewarded. Features on this album showcase their taste in more than just hip-hop music. Portugal. The Man was a standout along with Joey Bada$$, Bun B, and Jadakiss.
While the album’s title doesn’t match the cover art or bars, it can be perceived as an oxymoron. The guys aren’t afraid to touch on emotional points as they rap about family and dark times, such as the death of A$AP Mob founder A$AP Yams, who was mentioned a few times throughout the album. There is even a song dedicated to him performed by Meechy Darko, revealing that he was with Yams the moment he passed away. They have been recorded in the press run leading up to the release that it has taken them two years to complete the album. The wait definitely paid off. This project is a step above the predecessor 3001: A Laced Odyssey. The meticulous calculations created a beautiful medley of sounds and lyrics that create a 19-track stroll through the mind of today’s youth. My personal standouts, which were difficult to narrow down, are “Headstone,” where the song utilized classic hip-hop titles to create verses and bridges; “Ask Courtney,” in which member Meechy Darko starts the song with the line, “Love hurts. Ask Courtney, she killed Kurt…,” eluding to Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s romance before his untimely suicide; and “The Goddess,” where they write verses about the woman of their dreams.