Alan Smithee

One Track isn’t Enough – Rehab’s Southern Discomfort

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It was maybe six or seven years ago while cruising down to Salt Lake City with my best-friend at the time that I got a small taste of this hip-hop group, little did I know then that I would come to love and respect this group immensely.

You might have heard Rehab on your local ‘alternative’ or ‘college’ radio station doing their famous singles “Sittin’ At A Bar” and “It Don’t Matter” which are just 2 track off of their 15 track opus Southern Discomfort that should be on the shelf of anyone who claims to like hip-hop.

The rap duo got their start in the early 1990s in Atlanta, Georgia where their lyrics in their songs were stories ripped from their daily lives. Interestingly enough the groups name comes from the fact that they actually met each other while they themselves were attending rehab for drugs and alcohol dependency.

The album Southern Discomfort wasn’t the group’s first album yet it was the one album that got them some recognition across the US instead of cementing their fate as a local rap group. I do have a few of their other albums, but I feel that this is the group’s finest work to date. I’m not hating on the solo work that Danny Alexander did under the Rehab name on Graffiti the Land, ’cause that is a really great album on its own. I just feel that the dynamic that Danny and Brooks Buford had made this album successful.

The opening track of Southern Discomfort has the duo escaping from the rehab center (Escape Intro), and then leads into a song where the band members are explaining to a guy named Fred why they were there to begin with and why they’re saying fuck it to the whole process (Hey Fred). From this point on the album continues onto Storm Chaser that discusses the appeal of the drugs that got them started on their paths and the way that they change people usually for the worse, the greatest part of this track is that it features verses from Big Gipp and Cee-Lo of The Goodie Mob.

From then on, you are treated to a few more songs that have such genre bending hooks and beats that defy any category that I can think of, such as “It Don’t Matter” that features Danny singing a soulful portion of the song that touches the depths of my heart. The band truly makes you feel like they know how hard living life can be and how fucked things get when you start to rely on substances that take you out of normal frame of mind as an escape.

The group has a magnificent remake of Run DMC’s “My Adidas” that they call “My Addiction” which makes me laugh almost every time I hear it, followed by another great song that features singing from the band’s old friend Denny who goes on to explain how much of a drinking problem the band has citing: “I’ve got a drinking problem man, one mouth and two hands, and an empty can without no loochie” which is a problem that I’m happy to say that most of us writers at Media Whore have.

The next couple of tracks run the range from the giddy southern rock/rap of “Rattle My Cage” that describes the guys’ desire to be left alone and to take care of their own problems. After that we are treated to almost unforgettable performance by Mandy Lauderdale on “More Like You” that would be bland if the beat and verses by the group so well executed.

Rounding out the rest of the album are some of the best songs I’ve ever heard from a group touting to be a southern hip-hop group. “Sittin’ at a Bar” is a beautiful hybrid of country and rap that many groups try to mimic but it amazingly done. This song has it all a redneck, getting drunk, going back to jail, spousal abuse, and property damage. After that we get the song “Miss Jones” where the song is attempting to explain the appeal of local ‘jail bait’ and how its the chase and not the conquering that makes sex all the more exciting.

Track 13 is aptly named “Mission Impossible” cause its one of the members of the group doing an a-capella version of the show with the same name from the late 60s – early 70s. This is one of the most epic songs ever made and is a great song to sing along with, well at least for me. Finally, the track that should be the logical closer (but isn’t) for the album is “Thinkin’ Again” which is another amazing mixture of a Vegas style crooner overlaid on top of a drum and bass track, my god what a good track and another testament of how talented these 2 guys from Georgia were.

Unfortunately after the success of Southern Discomfort, the band eventually went their separate ways leaving Danny Alexander to keep the groups name and style going. He released a few other albums but none of them lived up to the buzz that their 2000 album shared. This year though, it was announced that the group is reforming to work on a new album which I didn’t know until I checked the band’s website. So if you have the time and a few bucks to spend go and pick up this album and let me know what you think.

My rating: Buy it twice, one copy for you and one for a friend. It really is that good.

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