The Underrated: Dungeon Family- Even In Darkness

By @TrueGodImmortal

1. Presenting Dungeon Family
2. Crooked Booty
3. Follow The Light 
4. Trans DF Express 
5. On & On & On 
6. Emergency 
7. Forever Pimpin(Never Slippin)
8. 6 Minutes(Dungeon Family Its On)
9. White Guts 
10. Rollin'
11. They Comin'
12. Excalibur 
13. What Iz Rap
14. Curtains(DF 2nd Generation)

The Dungeon Family is the greatest squad in the history of the Atlanta music scene if you ask me. From the production of Organized Noize to the conscious and fluid chemistry of Goodie Mob, to the creativity and legendary sound of Outkast, the music they have created is timeless. It was only a matter of time before the whole crew combined for an album together, and in November 2001, this project was released to decent fanfare(right around the time that the Outkast greatest hits album was released too). From the opening sound of "Crooked Booty", it was obvious that this would not be the average album, and the sound was unlike what we would hear in the mainstream rap world at the time.

The smooth and funky "Follow The Light", with the infectious hook and production continues the vibe and it's apparent at this point that the Dungeon Family sound is so varied that you can't manage to pin it to one style. "Follow The Light" is one of my favorite songs here and was a great meshing of every style from the individual artists. The first single "Trans DF Express" was another funky track, and I enjoyed both Andre and Big Boi's verses as well as the hook. The hook is particularly catchy to balance out the unorthodox beat that comes along with it. The unorthodox sound continues with "On & On & On", and soon the best part of this album is realized: it is experimental, with still keeping the classic Dungeon Family sound along with a new wave of DF. Big Boi's verse on this track is absolutely flawless as well.

The knock of "Emergency" gives that crunk southern flavor to the album as well, something that is definitely welcome here. The slow yet bumping flow of the Cool Breeze solo "Forever Pimpin(Never Slippin)" is definitely cool, though it leaves me a bit disappointed and the hook is a little boring. The posse track "6 Minutes(Dungeon Family It's On)" is a nice addition to the project, as every MC seems to have fun on the slick production. The different sound of "White Guts" is also enjoyable, as Big Boi comes through with a solid verse, and Big Gipp, Bubba Sparxx and Cee-Lo do their thing as well. It would be the final song to feature Big Boi on the album as well.

The Society of Soul led "Rollin" might be one of my three favorite songs here, as the verses, production, and hook all combine for a flawless song, not to mention Andre 3000 makes his final appearance on the album here. This song is ridiculously smooth and definitely one of the best tracks on the album. The T-Mo and Khujo Goodie led "They Comin" follows and is a welcome departure from the eclectic vibe that is rampant throughout the rest of the album. As the album begins to near the close, the Goodie Mob led "Excalibur" features an organ and horn heavy production that is amazing, yet slow and perfect for riding out. All the MCs here drop some knowledge as well, and Cee-Lo steals the show with his singing. The jazzy "What Iz Rap" isn't necessarily one of my favorites here, but Big Rube drops some gems here as expected. Definitely worth the listen just for that. The final track showcases the next generation of the Dungeon Family and allows the newer faces to get some shine. They all spit their best and the hook is pretty triumphant for them as well, a nice way to end off the album.

Overall, this project is a very solid album and showcases the best of the Dungeon Family as well. Despite not being a surefire hit album, I suggest you revisit this album and enjoy. It was a lot better than people gave it credit for. Word to the Dungeon.



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