Back in 2004 Galapagos 4 released the official debut album of an up and coming Chicago MC named Robust entitled "Potholes in Our Molecules". Considered an independent hip hop classic in many circles, the album captured the essence of a young pessimists take on the world from a 'glass half empty' perspective. Often riding the thin line between the popular abstract styles of the time, and classical boom bap rooted production and lyricism. It stands today as an audible record of a young Chi-Town rapper finding his own unique voice in the often redundant world of underground hip hop.ξ
8 years, 7 releases, thousands of weed sacks, and a countless amount of shows later, we find Robust returning to the potholes concept with a completely fresh approach. From the gate you can tell this album is clearly not a case of him trying to recapture the glory of the original release, he's simply tackling the idea from a more experienced and seasoned angle. However, his original modus operandi of making true to life songs containing social commentary, sarcasm, and introspective satire over dope beats is ever-present.ξ
Never one to be accused of wack beat selection, Robust chose a wide assortment of beats from an all-star cast of Chicago hip hop producers. Max, Meaty Ogre, Pore, PNS, Maker, DJ Alo (who also did cuts on the album), and Jackson Jones all contributed beats to the project. Even Bigga himself produced a couple of the tracks, proving that he can definitely hold his own on the production side of things as well. Collectively, the style of beats he chose for the album could be considered as a sort of post-modern boom bap with scattered soulful undertones. It's a style that perfectly complements Robus'ts notorious 'in the pocket' cadence and honesty fueled song topics.ξ
As fans, we all too often find ourselves yearning for our favorite artists to recapture a moment in time that has long passed by for the musician themselves. We fall in love with a debut album, and then we tend to pick apart the artists future releases with a fine comb, often forgetting it was the ground breaking spirit that gave us the original album to begin with. "Fillin' in the Potholes" is much more than just a sequel to Robust's G4 debut. It's almost as though the original album was a pothole he dug for us deep in the Chicago streets, and in typical City of Chicago fashion it took 8 years to fill it back in.