REVIEW: Sam Lachow and Raz - 5 GooD Reasons

I just remembered that last fall I said I would post a review of the 5 Good Reasons EP by Sam Lachow and Raz Simone. Well, my PC died right then and I did not get to listen to the EP for quite a while. Then about a month and a half ago I stopped by D-Sane's studio and Sam Lachow just happened to be in session and I got to meet the man and chop it up for a while. After that it dawned on me that I had not gone back and downloaded any of his free tapes since I got my computer back online. So I did, and DAMN.

Sam Lachow has quickly become one of my favorite new artists. I really like most of both Brand New Bike and Avenue Music; they are both very playful, fun, honest, don't take themselves too seriously, and are full of good beats, rhymes and live instrumentation. In my opinion, however, both projects are overshadowed by the newest: 5 Good Reasons. On this 5 song EP Lachow teams up with Raz Simone, the thoughtful gangster to Sam's playful stoner persona, though both emcees are very three dimensional on the mic.

The intro took me a couple of listens to fully appreciate, each rapper taking his turn to spit about 40 bars from the heart over a lulling, jazzy, hypnotic backdrop that is less a beat and more of a canvass for them to paint their truth on. Next comes the title track, Good Reasons. The strings, horns and piano accompany the punchlines so well and keep your head nodding so hard that it's easy to forget there are no drums until the chorus, but when that comes through it's hard not to sing along, because "we just wanna do what makes us happy." Coyotes is third, an ode to relationships that don't work, likening them to an addiction: "she didn't know she was messing with a drug/ put me in her body now she wish she never been in love." After that we come to "Nothing's Gonna Change" which I think showcases the contrast between the pair that make them such a dynamic duo.  Each verse is a mirror of the other, one reminiscing on a childhood spent partying and having fun, smoking and riding bikes, the other of a youth spent hustling and grinding. Two very honest and disparate perspectives of coming of age in the inner city. Finally Raz takes the mic solo (though Lachow is still on production, as he is throughout the project) for Money. A retrospective of growing up poor and striving not to be. With lines like "your house came with a lake/ we had long puddles" it gives more poetry and perspective than the average guap themed record these days.

Overall I give 5 Good Reasons top marks and say it's a must download, especially at the price of Free Ninety Nine. I've been damn near addicted to this EP since I got it a month or so ago, and I've written verses while listening to all five tracks. Click the link below and download "5 Good Reasons", along with the rest of Sam Lachow's Material: