By Alex P80 Parks
If you know Cousin Feo or follow him on social media, you know that he frequently gets into in-game commentary and will easily converse with any “real football” fan. Cousin Feo’s affinity for soccer is also evident in his lyrics, song titles and album artwork. The L.A. emcee brings that passion and competitive fire to his own projects as well. After dropping the critically-praised A little Caviar back in March, Cousin Feo returns with another helping of fine cuisine, this time serving up some Creme Fraiche for hip hop heads.
The French Connection
Collaborating with French producer Keor Meteor proved successful on A Little Caviar, which Keor entirely produced. With Creme Fraiche, Keor again supplies the heat on all the tracks. His beats always have well chopped samples and balanced drums to match the vibe and feel. And just like A Little Caviar, this project also gets a major boost from the serious scratches and cuts from DJ Dubplates.
Feo recruits some of the best emcees out right now to assist on this project. No posse cuts, but excellent collaborations on every track. With Keor’s energetic and booming beats as the foundation for Feo’s bouncing cadence and hard flow, they set the stage for all the emcees to shine. Fellow Cali emcee WeBeDigi jumps in on 3 tracks, with their chemistry apparent, working to excellent effect on each track.
I had to inquire about the French soccer theme on both A Little Caviar and Creme Fraiche.
DHH: Why is the French National Team a recurring theme as opposed to other countries/leagues?
Feo: The French theme and connection is definitely cause of Keor. He’s a fan just like me, so it all made sense between us… Each track is named after a famous French footballer. I tried to style the joints to their style of play and reputations on the the field.”
DRHH: Was it you or Keor who got all the football clips?
Feo: “I spent hours on YouTube and football related series & dvds that I have to hunt for everything you hear being scratched along with the audio clips at the end/beginning of tracks.”
DHH: How long have you been a football connoisseur/ expert?
Feo: I’ve been around the sport since a kid. My Uncle played professionally in Guatemala, had an older cousin who played/won at every level minus the pros & they both groomed me to the sport.
Cousin Feo’s triumphant entrance comes with “Deschamps.” Ready to conquer the scene over Keor’s tightly chopped strings samples alonside a funky guitar riff, Feo goes in solo on the track:
“This is revolutionary like a panther on the steps
In front of cameras and the press
So quit acting all depressed
wanna gamble with ya life, then put ya swagger up for bet.”
“Trezeguet” ft. Sleep Sinatra & Napoleon Da Legend
Keor lays a hard and dark beat on this track. Both Sleep and Napoleon drop insane verses but Feo holds his own with the elite, spitting:
“Fell asleep in the whip and now I’m street dreamin
I need cream n’ to breathin’, I keep fiendin.
My team schemin’ with deep reasons and weed steamin
I seen demons and street heathens with heat creepin..”
A dark and brooding track for the three emcees to shine brightly. A standout track on an album full of excellent cuts.
“Patrick Vieira” ft. Supreme Cerebral Keor creates some tension with a string loop, a minimal beat and plenty of booming bass. Supreme Cerebral comes hard as usual, never delivering a wack bar.
Cousin Feo hits the second with:
“Off top, I need the blackest Carrera,
So I can move through these streets like I’m Patrick Vieira.
“Pires” ft. WeBeDigi Keor lays another beat with some strings, vocal samples and subtle horns to perfection here. WeBeDigi brings a smooth flow and swagger and kills his verse right after Feo. A standout track and a banger from a couple of dope emerging emcees from the west coast.
WeBeDigi comes with a top guest verse here:
“I pinch a gram o dust, that make ya flinch and grab ya nuts
Mention us and you gon see these henchmen saddle up
I’m just babbling some rapper stuff
I’m in the lavish tux out here with my mans we tryna grab some bucks
Hands been up for Michael Brown yellin ‘fuck the system’
Yo these eyes seen too much homie so fuck tradition.”
“Justo Fontaine/Ginola” ft. WeBeDigi
Keor kicks a funky 70’s groove for the 2 emcees to float on and deliver some dope scenarios.
“Marius Trésor” ft. Eto & SmooVth
Keor creates a great mood here, The threatening tone building tension up to a mellow jazzy organ release. Perfect for Eto and SmooVth to join Feo on some night maneuvers, stalking through the streets.
Check the track on SoundCloud here:
“Kopa” ft. WeBeDigi & Daniel Son Keor lays subtle drums with a short guitar loop for all three emcees to strut on. This the perfect beat for Daniel to show his flow and measured cadence.
Keor Meteor really provides a canvas of varying tempos and textures on his beats which create an energetic and moody journey for Cousin Feo to bring his listeners on through his rhymes. Clean, melodic, rhythmic and booming, yet unique enough to separate from the pack. No drumless loops either, just hip hop bangers on this album.
Cousin Feo brings his confident bars and excellent ear for beats on this, his second project this year. Working with all the elite emcees on this album heightens the visibility and brings some firepower for sure. However, Feo doesn’t rely on them to hold him up. Not only does he hold his own with the elite, but he seems to get these collaborations to perfection. His choice of tracks from Keor Meteor fit well with the intended vibe, the emcees he works with and the theme of each French players’ style. A unique concept and executed to perfection, Creme Fraiche is one of the more unique and engaging projects in 2018 without straying to far from what the underground listeners are craving. Keep checking for Cousin Feo as he’s making his mark in hip hop this year with another standout project.
Check out Creme Fraiche here: