Lee Scott – Butter Fly (Review)
Throughout time, pop culture has reminded us time and time again that two heads are better than one. Hollywood gave us Laurel and Hardy, comic books gave us Batman and Robin, and within hip-hop the number two has proven to be quite magical. From Eric B. and Rakim to Talib Kweli and Hi-tek, trust that when a hungry MC meets a beatsmith who can give him all of the right ingredients to begin cooking, expect there to be fire. In this case, the two chefs in the kitchen are none other than rapper Lee Scott and Dirty Dike who serves as producer for Scott’s latest dish, Butter Fly.
Gently blowing in like a cold breeze from the north, we open with the title track ‘Butter Fly’, a bumping, jazz-influenced joint that successfully sets the tone for the entire record. Scott floats over the beat as he details his swag in typical witty fashion. The overall “fuck you” attitude boils over to the heavy ‘Don’t Make Me’ where the wordsmith continues to deliver knife-sharp rhymes stuffed with unique references like “I don’t give a fraction of an ounce of a fuck / it’s an accident I’m on this planet like Howard the Duck”. It’s an effective way of standing out from the crowd.
As a complete package, Butter Fly maintains a thick layer of peculiarity. The album artwork alone (which depicts a block of butter surfing a fifty pound note) could have fans either scratching their heads or smiling. Regardless of how you may absorb it all, Scott and Dike triumph in creating a distinct sound that is sure to make a home of your brain. ‘Manatee Rap’ in particular will send listeners to outer space with its crunching snares and myriad of strange sound effects echoing as the hook rings out, “I do drugs that numb me skull / keep me tummy full to the point it’s uncomfortable”. However, for all its humour and curiosity, the album still packs a lethal punch.
We take a turn into slightly darker territory on ‘Eight O’Clock In The Morning’ where Scott’s proficiency on the mic becomes ever more evident. Spitting over some classically sinister horns, the MC delivers a series of rhymes that aim to attack all senses simultaneously. “It’s a still summer’s day but it sounds like autumn when I’m walking on the remains / of memory lane / like dry leaves that crunch beneath me feet / but when I look it’s just the concrete cooking in the heat”. The imagery is vivid enough to highlight Scott’s ability as a genuine storyteller. Thankfully ‘Don’t Tell Me’ sees him operating in a similar manner over Dike’s sweet guitar strings that sound oven fresh from an 80s cop movie. This time the rapper adopts a rapid fire flow resembling the harmonious style of a handful of artists to emerge from the American Midwest. It’s a smart way of raising the energy levels before the album bows out with the unforgettable ‘Butter Tits’. During these final minutes, Scott puts back on his funny face with an ode to “butter” that cranks up the strange factor to the maximum. It’s completely unexpected but oddly powerful.
It’s somewhat difficult to sum Butter Fly up in few words, but, for lack of a better phrase, weird is wonderful. It’s hip-hop, it’s a story, and it’s stepping into the unknown. The combined effort of Lee Scott and Dirty Dike is a perfect example of how and why the MC/DJ formula works so well. To actively seek fault in it would be illogical, but arguably this album won’t be for those first venturing into the genre. The overall sound is too advanced and the traditional rules have been broken. For seasoned rap fans however, it should certainly be on the radar. This is butter melted to perfection.
By Ashni Dadry