Madison-born up-and-comers Lucha Libre serve up a furious mix of both hip hop and reggaeton on their new album The Takeover from I Need a Raise Records. They stick to the former, though, on the release's steady rolling title cut.
A dour sample that recalls the universally recognizable "Song of the Volga Boatman" introduces the track, but it's really just a head fake. Mostly the crew is concerned with announcing their arrival in the major leagues.
Despite the dirge-like opening, their boasting comes off as confident and exuberant rather than hardcore. Timbaland's early addiction to Kraftwerk (not to mention Detroit techno) is everywhere in hip-hop, so it's no surprise that a weedy yet catchy snatch of minimalist keyboard provides the musical hook. Or that the bass rumbles more than it thunders.
But the rhymes are what make "The Takeover," and Lucha Libre can boast with the best. My favorite line -- "I'm a habanero pepper chased with a double shot of Tabasco" -- comes early and literally brings the heat.
This is the "clean" version of "The Takeover," so mom and dad don't have to worry about "bad" words corrupting their kids. More important, radio programmers shouldn't have any qualms about spinning it either. That's a good thing, since once they dip a finger in Lucha Libre's hot sauce, they're apt to come back for more.
An MP3 of the track is available in the related downloads at right. More songs by the group can be listened to on its MySpace page. Lucha Libre is performing at a CD release party with Sose & DJ Tyme, Fall Guys, and DJs Papi Love and Pain 1at the Annex on Saturday, July 12.
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