Given that hip-hop is now in its forties and has had numerous kids along the way (including older slightly emo daughter, trip-hop, and youngest, trap, the, er, unplanned accident) when could be more appropriate for the genre to celebrate fatherhood? The answer is never – and no pair are more qualified to do the celebrating than Professor Elemental (on this styled simply as ‘Elemental’) and Mr Frisbee – fathers both themselves. Neither is it any accident that the pair’s new collaborative LP, The Good Dad Club, arrives in the run-up to Father’s Day. It has all the hallmarks of a well-oiled operation that muggins has had to put together because – well – frankly if you’ve never held up traffic to usher a reversing vehicle into the road, yelled ‘Get out of that bloody shower, you’ve been in their for ages!’ or asked, ‘How can the toilet roll be finished already? I only put a new one in there yesterday!’ you’re simply not qualified and haven’t earned the right. Now sit down and read the rest of this (properly, mind!) and you might just learn something.
One such thing is that this is a twelve-track set – a significant number since twelve is also the age at which kids suddenly start having totally unreasonable meltdowns about anything thus forcing you to spend the day in the shed with your infinitely more reasonable tools. You’ll also become apprised of the multitude of traumas that can afflict dads. Forget pregnancy scars and the menopause – do you know how much effort is required for a night out once nights in with the ‘Flix and a bottle of wine have become strangely alluring? Grown Folks Boogie fills you in. Then there’s Golden Age Of Dad in which Elemental expresses a nagging sense that, in the neutered contemporary world with its woke notions of equality, maybe you don’t have the status that your own father did – though (good news, dads!) – he ultimately decides things are better now. Beta Male is a life-affirming salute (with a mic assist from Longusto) to average dads everywhere who aren’t chisel-jawed action men, climbing the corporate ladder, while it is on Nothing Says Cool Like a Middle-Aged Man and Socially Distant that we find Elemental at his most lyrically amusing. The former skewers the divorcee who still rocks Ray-Bans, drives an Audi and tries to pull into inappropriately young ladies (“Don’t belittle my maturity, I’ve got financial security”) while the latter lampoons the sort of patronising young rap fool who turns up at an Elemental gig and proceeds to get all up in his grill, “I thought you’d be shit mate – but you’re a star”. The Prof’s comeback? “I thought you’d be a dick mate. And you are.” Mess with the bull; you’ll get the horns! Meanwhile Frisbee lobs his lyricist partner a constant and effortless barrage of funky beats – no doubt with a wink and a wry smile because ‘it’s all in the wrist, son!’ Also along for the ride and shooting the breeze for more than a few bars are Dr Syntax (on Ready Or Not and Floating Away), Dillon & Blaise (on Old Dog) and the aforementioned Langusto. The Good Dad Club then – you call that racket music? Certainly do!