Here is, for sure, one of the most bizarre and original records ever released in the hip-hop genre. Just think about it: this looks exactly like a very long two-hour posse cut, where a very big bunch of rappers, all weirder than the others, are declaiming a never-ending collection of ego-trips, schoolboy pranks, and delirious speeches about things like the dinosaurs, the Egyptian pyramids and the Martians.
Undoubtedly, Awolrus has been one of the key players in the West Coast Underground. He's been some kind of star, in the small indie rap world. It is hard, though, to identify a masterpiece in his discography. Would that be Souldoubt, due to its bangers? Or Slanguage, his and Daddy Kev's escapade in free jazz? Or Number 3 on the Phone, due to the fantastic "Carnage Asada"? Difficult to say, each record being equally brilliant and frustrating… Or maybe, we should all prefer this quiet, short and discreet Only Death Can Kill You, he released with Factor.
By the early 2000's, because of his incredible and inebriated voice, his subtlety, his sense of humor and his vulnerability, because of his style made partly of classic hip-hop, partly of Project Blowed-influenced innovations, we predicted a triumph to Awol One. But it didn't happen. The most charismatic Shape Shifter never capitalized on the buzz around Souldoubt, in 2001. He remained an unsung hero, and he never released the masterpiece we expected. On the opposite, his records would become less and less noticeable, with the exception of the very convicting Only Death can Kill he released in 2007 with Factor, the Canadian beatmaker.
In the year 2000, a period of glory for the indie rap scene in general, and more particularly for this bunch of Angelinos, the Shapeshifters had thought of everything. In addition to Know Future, a record which looked like a 2 hour posse cut declaimed by a multitude of MCs on nonsensical beats – their true masterpiece, though – the Californians had released just after, on Daddy Kev's Celestial label, an Adopted by Aliens much easier to grasp.