*Though I have embedded the album from MelloMusicGroup.Bandcamp.com, Trek Life has been promoting the album through DJBooth, so click HERE to listen, rate and cop the album in support of Trek Life and Duke Westlake.
Three listens in… okay, four now, and I just can’t stop hitting play! I don’t call a lot of material classic, but Mello Music Group, Trek Life and Duke Westlake may just have one on their hands with Hometown Foreigner – which really isn’t a strange idea to the purveyors of quality hip hop over at MMG (don’t you even dare mistake that for Maybach Music!).
Duke Westlake provides the perfect intro music for Trek Life, allowing the sample to breathe a bit at the beginning as Trek Life ushers the listener in to the album and then the Duke procedes to kick the listener in the chest with booming kicks and head nodding snares (dude’s sample choice and drums are legit throughout) – welcome.
Once Trek welcomes his audience, he, and his label-mate yU, lay down some perimeters within which one must fall in order to be considered real – if y0u don’t feel What’s Real, then you probably aren’t, because the saying goes, “real recognize real,” and this is real. It is nice to hear the echo of those who have been crying out against the facade that so many in hip hop work hard to maintain.
We Good serves as a nice double entendre, wherein Trek Life, Oddisee and Belvi explain that they are in a good place, but to hear the three saying “we good,” the listener can’t help but hear, “we are damn good at what we do” – they are.
The three first tracks SHOW the listener what Hometown Foreigners look like, and prepare him for Trek Life’s thesis statement, the title track. Caricatures of West Coast bravado question Trek Life’s authenticity due to the fact that he doesn’t fit in their proverbial boxes of the West Coast, turnt up, gangsta(thug) rapper (or any variation of), and at the end he gets called out for not fitting the skinny jean hipster rapper profile. Here Trek expresses his frustration with having to battle these stereotypes, with the lack of love he’s received from those to whom he has shown love and what it is like to generally not be accepted for who he is, especially in his hometown of West Covina, and LA on a larger scale. Even without a place to lay his head, Trek Life is at home on a beat.
He follows with support for his thesis – the fact that, at the end of the day, it’s not about anything outside of the craft itself, it’s Just the Music. Read a review HERE.
While I would love to continue on this journey of breaking down each track, I fear you may have, nay, get, to listen to the album 3 or 4 times while you read this review, and that might not be the most effective means to review an album. With that said, the rest of the album seamlessly follows the trajectory set by track 1.
Trek Life continues to match content with the vibe of Duke Westlake’s production and tells the story of one dwelling on the fringes of hip hop, and 0f life in general, by divulging his philosophies, cleverly, and exposing those with contrary views as having it wrong. Trek feels a lot like someone you know and seems like a down to earth, regular guy with an irregular vocabulary and cadence. Please support local art and buy the album. If you can’t pay for it and you stream it instead, please be sure to share it with any and everyone you know. Listen. Enjoy. Share.
Peace and Love,
Catch a live performance by Trek Life and Duke Westlake (these guys are from the school of hip hop that REQUIRES one be able to put on a dope live show!) – dates below: