Hailing from Flatbush, Brooklyn, hip-hop duo The Underachievers aren’t exactly living up to their moniker.
Signed to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label in 2012 and dropping a pair of acclaimed mixtapes in 2013, rappers AK and Issa Gold have since produced two full-length albums.
The latest was released in September and it came on the heels of their 2014 studio debut, “Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium.”
If their album titles sound a bit more existential than most modern hip-hop releases, that’s because they are.
The East Coast pair champion their use of mind-altering substances while creating their music, and don’t mind propagating the “psychedelic hip-hop” label with which they’re frequently tagged.
Taking cues from classic ‘90s East Coast rap, and mixing it with a seemingly never-ending infusion of slickly produced untraditional beats, AK and Issa’s dynamic back-and-forth lyrical sparring is where they shine brightest.
Meditations on the spiritual and metaphysical world, heightened consciousness, and the vapidity of modern American life are the norm. Well, they are for the most part. A few songs on the new album do descend into typical hip-hop tropes.
The Underachievers and “Forevermore Express” Tour
When: Wednesday, Nov. 11
Where: Observatory North Park
Details: All-ages. $20-$75. observatorysd.com
It’s unfamiliar territory for The Underachievers. But the album is titled “Evermore - The Art of Duality” and clearly split into juxtaposed halves, so it all seems to be part of the plan.
Previously touring with Beast Coast collective mates Joey Bada$$ and Flatbush Zombies, AK and Issa are currently headlining a massive North American tour they’re calling “The Forevermore Express.”
Featuring a lineup that includes Pouya and the Buffet Boys, Kirk Knight, Bodega Boyz, and G.R.A.M.Z., The Underachievers will wrap things up with stops at Observatory Santa Ana, Observatory North Park, and L.A.'s El Rey Theatre.
Then it’s off to Europe and Scandinavia for at least 20 dates that will carry them through to mid-December.
It’s yet to be determined what will follow.
Last year, Issa took to Twitter to say, “I’ll stop rapping soon and move to something else more constructive. This isn’t challenging enough for me. I want to go back to school.”
Of course, that was before “Evermore” dropped and the current tour reunited the MC with fans across the globe.
But in the event that the current run of dates is an unannounced farewell, it’s probably smart not to “wait until next time” to see The Underachievers live show.