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Danger Mouse & Jemini the Gifted One show that they still got it on Born Again

"Born Again"

Release date: 25 August 2023
Danger Mouse Jemini the Gifted One - Born Again - Album Artwork
25 August 2023, 11:30 Written by Aryeh Genger

Nearly two decades after their pioneering collaboration, Ghetto Pop Life, Danger Mouse and Jemini the Gifted One have reunited for their ambitious new offering, Born Again.

Bringing together Danger Mouse's signature sample-based production with Jemini's thought-provoking lyricism and velvety vocals, Born Again sees Jemini and Danger Mouse showcasing exactly what made them such compelling figures in the early aughts.

On this record, Jemini truly lives up to his name, showing far more charisma and exuberance than what you would expect from a rapper over 2 decades into his career, especially considering he hasn’t released a full project since Ghetto Pop Life. The versatility of the vocal performances on this album had me constantly double-checking to see if there were any featured artists on here.

Musically, Danger Mouse incorporates everything from fuzzy psychedelic guitars to cinematic soul chops into his production, providing a kaleidoscopic backdrop for Jemini's lyrics. Born Again’s lyrical themes run the gamut of topics from political and social commentary to introspective verses about change and shedding old identities.

“Locked Up” and “Dear Poppa” are some of the best examples of the latter, and they make up the rawest and most emotional moments on the album. The closer, “World Music,” has Jemini rapping and singing his heart out over a left-field beat that feels like it was grabbed from a Kid Cudi and Ratatat record circa 2009 in the best way possible. The biggest highlight of the album, “Walk The Walk,” features some of Jemini’s hungriest lyrics and flows over a wild and sprawling beat and a gospel-inspired chorus.

On the other hand, the album's lead single, "Brooklyn Bazquiat," is an off-kilter hip-hop track with a warped flute sample that sounds like it was taken from a traveling carnival and a poorly executed interpolation of The Notorious B.I.G.’s Hypnotize. Additionally, “Where You From” has one of the most disappointing mixes on the album and has a hook that feels like it was lifted from a passable DMX song from the 2000’s.

Born Again delivers most of what you could want from a new Danger Mouse project. The songs are dynamic and Jemini’s vocals steal the show. Even after 20 years, the chemistry between Danger Mouse and Jemini has not lost a beat. Both bring out the best in each other, with Jemini's reflective rhymes perfectly matched by Danger Mouse's inventive production, which leaves me excited to see what this duo has in store for us over the next two decades.

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