Ellenwood has premieres two of The Peanut Gallery’s tracks from their debut album Tales from the Basement thus far, and based on the two extremely different tracks  “Deep Thoughts” and “Time Flies By”. Said pre-released track had fans and critics were wondering which way The Peanut Gallery’s style would lean, and now that the album’s been released the answer is every which way.

Tales from the Basement opens with an obvious declaration of their mission statement, which will be the main unifying factor on the album. The content throughout is meant to be either a call by the duo, consisting of rappers and producers Flee and Orlando Jones, to return to the roots and the message of hip hop Sometimes this is done directly like on the more indie-sounding “Deep Thoughts” or “Made Me Feel Good Today (The Chicken Shack Song). Other times it’s more tongue-in-cheek in “big money” or mumble rap spoofs like “Choppaz” or Sensational”.

Where the album diversifies is in musical style. In fact, it pretty much covers all the styles one can think of in hip hop. “Deep Thoughts” has a bare bones indie style, for example, while the ironic “Sensational” is, not surprisingly, sensational. It will remind audiences of early 00s Ma$e and Puff Daddy. “Time Flies By” is heavy on the autotune and centered around disco house, while the equally autotuned “Blessings” is quite clearly trap-based and uses the autotune to actually rap rather than sing.

Now that Tales from the Basement has been released in full, it’s easier to see The Peanut Gallery are about. With their comics strip album illustrations and skits in between tracks as well as the unifying philosophy, Orlando and Flee Jones mean to use this project as a multimedia platform to incorporate a number of hip hopstyles while driving home what they think is the core of hip hop and rap: the message.

Tales from the Basement is out now and can be streamed or purchased on iTunes or Spotify. The video for “Deep Thoughts” is available on The Peanut Gallery’s YouTube channel. Stay tuned for more videos and skits.

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