Yen AM Dollar Sign

Kogan Dumb
(Self Released)

There seems to be a correlation between Louisville hip-hop and indie in that both produce melancholic, low-key melodies and narrative structures. Maybe it’s the weather, or maybe it’s something a bit less tangible, but those characteristics seem ingrained in our city’s DNA, evidenced wonderfully again here on “Yen AM Dollar Sign,” the newest from Kogan Dumb. The production on the album is pitch perfect, and I would argue as vibrant and engaging as the best from MF Doom or even A Tribe Called Quest — both of which exemplify nuanced beats from a variety of often non-hip-hop sources. That re-contextualization is employed here too and for great effect, especially when contrasted with Kogan Dumb’s smooth flow and clever raps. The subject matter is never too heavy, or so it seems — the kind of slice-of-life rhymes that ground the material.