In releasing an album that blends bluegrass and hip-hop, the Brooklyn-based musician/producer behind Gangstagrass, Rench, is certainly going out on a peculiar limb. For those out there not asking why this genre-bending liaison should be allowed in the first place, the question seems to be, rather, why hasn’t it happened sooner?

Unfortunately, this album seems to be the answer to the latter.

On the face of it, this notion to marry chalk and cheese seems ridiculous. Then, you wonder if it is so ridiculous that it just might work. You certainly hope that it will work; and in theory, there’s no reason why – one day anyway – it shouldn’t.

The problem with Rappalachia (a combination of ‘rap’ and ‘Appalachia’, a region in the States known for its roots music) is that what you would imagine is exactly what you get, and no more.

One of the wonders of primary school art classes is seeing how a new colour can be made from two completely different ones. With this album, you don’t get purple – you get splotches of red and blue. Unfortunately, the whole is less than the sum of its parts; the fifteen tracks here present a kitchy mediocrity of both genres.

Let it not be said though, that there is no enjoyment to be had from this album. It does win some points for being unlike anything you’re likely to have heard recently.

– Serrin Prior

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