Declaime made some noise with his two albums "Illmindmuzik" and "Andsoitsaid." Underground hip hop has a low budget, magic-making quality. Beautiful tracks can be made from gritty studios, little money and spontaneous sessions. Declaime's side project is an experiment that took place in a single weekend. He got together with Kan Kick and Poppy to form The Mad Men. They made this EP on a rented an 8 Track recorder at his Aunt's house in Las Vegas, Nevada. The sound quality is incredibly lo-fi and it's very obvious that many of these songs were done in a spontaneous manner. The listener can hear the saliva in the emcee's mouths and muffling of the microphones. The production is solely done by Kan Kick (The Funky Asthmatic). It reminds me of the mellow beats of 3852's "The Living Soul" EP. Of course, these beats are nowhere near as dope but they have that mid-tempo just-programmed quality with snapping snare beats and ambient high hats. Kan Kick does get creative with some of the sound effects and melodies in the background.
The "Mad Intro" is more than 3 minutes of a nice beat where children are yelling in the background while Declaime keeps on repeating the phrase "Illmindmuzik" over and over again. It's too long. If this was an LP, it would not make a difference but since this is an EP, every track counts. This intro should have been 1/3 the actual length. "Mad Crew Interlude" (a dope little track with tons of slick scratching from DJ Kut-L.) should have been the EP's intro track.
The EP's better moments come in the form of "Mad Mad World," "M.A.D.M.E.N." and the bonus track which appears after the pleasing short outro. On 'Mad Mad World,' Declaime sings the hook as mellow and ethereal vocal samples glide along the rhythm. This has that mellow dreamy quality that "Kanstructavist" (the most unique track here, Kan Kick's solo - completely handled with a falsetto voice and him singing the hook in a very effeminate style) attempted to create. It's rough and somewhat odd. The verses range from dope to simple. Sometimes, they have a very intelligent and sharp flow while at other times; their flow and lyrics are extremely simple. In a way, the inconsistency adds to the madness they are talking about.
"Sex Rhyme" is the only song they don't use the word "mad" constantly. The rim-shot driven beat slowly glides - a pure filler track. It could have been a stand out track but it is forgettable.
This is an interesting listen but still, an odd little EP. The listener will either love or hate the lo-fi sound quality. The mics have weird levels. Some drum tracks are louder than others and I would not be surprised if every single track was freestyled or made in an extremely short period of time. Another annoying aspect is the amount they use the term "Madmen". Declaime says the phrase "madmen" more on this EP than Ja Rule shouts "Murda!" on his albums. There are no real subjects or themes or stories. This album is based on the vibe of his aunt's house in Las Vegas during one specific weekend. You either are down with it or you're not. Loose is the perfect word to describe this EP. The vocals, lyrics, beats, production and overall feelings all have a loose quality.
The only truly great aspect of this EP is the scratching done by DJ Kut-L. Sure, these are madmen. They are not angry; they are supposed to be crazy. It's odd that they spend so much time saying that they are mad but do not display their madness in their verses. This is a novelty record that attempts to create its own space. This is not really for cars or for parties or even headphones. It's for something else. Out of the 9 actual cuts, 4 of them a cool and the rest are just decent. Overall, it is an interesting listen for people who like underground, do-it-yourself hip hop.