Gasoline Rainbows (Rock Day by Day)

Despite living in Chicago, Serengeti put out his first two albums on St. Louis labels. His debut, Dirty Flamingo, was produced by DJ Crucial and released on F5 Records, and its follow-up, Noodle-Arm Whimsy, was put out by the Frozen Food Section. Recently he graduated to a five-album deal with New York City's Day by Day Entertainment, an ascending indie whose catalogue includes a collaboration between MF Doom and MF Grimm. Gasoline Rainbows is the first fruit of that labor. Though definitely a hip-hop album, Rainbows was released on the label's rock division and is a departure from Serengeti's other albums. It features electric-guitar samples, loud choruses and even one song ("Margot") that sounds like Weezer. Geti says he dumped thousands of his own dollars into this record, which was originally slated for release two years ago as a live album. More produced and less personal than his first two releases, Rainbows still has near-perfect gems like "This World," "Geti King" and "I Don't Mind." These songs exploit Geti's mastery of the sweet spot between caring too much and caring too little; you'd be hard pressed to find anyone doing more interesting things in hip-hop right now -- or anyone less self-conscious about doing it.

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