The Animators are a Hip-Hop collective from Dublin. After finding out they were supporting Earl Sweatshirt at the Academy on the 26th of March I decided to give them a listen just to know what to expect while waiting on the main man himself.
Normally Irish Hip-Hop to me is like nails on a chalk board, the Dublin accent being the only thing I can pay attention to. The beats always sound, to me, to be out dated and the rhymes being somewhat mediocre. The most famous ‘rap’ group to come out of Ireland are the Rubber Bandits, yes they make me giggle every now and then but I do tire of the old stereotype of the Irish fool.
The Animators smash this stereotype to pieces, offering a fresh new approach to Irish Hip-Hop. They are not just ‘good for an Irish group’ these lads have some serious talent and seem to know exactly what they want. Their debut album ‘Drawn Together’ really showcases their skills as a group and also as individuals. You can hear how they have improved throughout the album from earlier songs like ‘Marvellous’ to the beautiful ‘Those Were the Days’. The album has been in the making for a long time because they are self-funded. The end product shows what they are capable of and that they are anything but a ‘pack of illiterates playing with alliteration’ (Dog Day Afternoon).
‘Drawn Together’ treats us to short interludes or instrumentals throughout, these are one of the best parts about the album. My personal favorite is ‘Soundboy’, sounds to be influenced by ska music and very reminiscent of The Specials. These little snippets show just how good the producer Mathman is, he portrays all the music that influences him within his songs, making this album a dynamic one.
The song that first made me say ‘Wait! Maybe these lads are onto something’ was ‘Those Were the Days’ featuring The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Those of you that don’t like the Irish accent in rap there is still something for you. The unreal beats they rap over and the very catchy refrains sang by Smokey J give the Animators the possibility to enter the international Hip-Hop market.
Their rhyming style is similar to that of classic Hip-Hop such as De La Soul and A Tribe called Quest. They mix light hearted humour in with topics of seriousness making for a very entertaining and easy listening album. We can all relate to love, loss and money problems of a rapper but not always the guns, killing, drug dealing and countless bitches. To hear things that you remember from your own childhood is refreshing to hear makes the album easy to relate to and proves that there is talent here at home if we look for it.
You can stream ’Drawn Together’ here: http://theanimatorsireland.bandcamp.com/album/drawn-together