First Spin: 7evenThirty’s ‘Heaven’s Computer’
Jackson, Mississippi space cadet crash-lands with an out-there '80s-indebted concept album
How should I describe rapper/producer 7evenThirty’s Heaven’s Computer? A Big K.R.I.T. album if the only influence were 8ball & MJG’s Space Age Pimpin’? Devin the Dude in “Zeldar” mode for 50 straight minutes? John Sayles’ The Brother From Another Planet meets Forbidden Planet as a hip-hop musical? The Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach with a lot more rapping and an ’80s obsession that includes the Back To The Future soundtrack and the arch, ironic dialogue of Heathers? OutKast if they were still doing what they were doing?
All of those might sound pretty good, but they don’t tap into what’s so exciting about this concept album that casts 7evenThirty (presumably a Big L reference, right? “If you’re 730, that means you’re crazy” from “Ebonics”) as a take-no-crap alien invader named Max Redrum. Tagging along with him is a super-polite super-computer named Alfie. Together, they discover that this Earth place is actually pretty great! Or something? He falls in love with his girl and defies his shit-talking superiors. Just listen for yourself. Meanwhile, producers Erik L, 5-D, and Mr. Slago wrap breakbeats, Southern twang, and effective doses of ’80s cheese, around his heartwarming, spaced-out concept. Sure, there are highlights — diss track and auto-critique “Getup!!!!,” the neon noir saxiness of “Chocolate Bliss,” a slowed-down outer-space jam about label fuckery called “Mysterious Business” — but it’s best to go through this one from start to finish and figure it out for yourself. 7evenThirty’s Heaven’s Computer is out next Tueday (pre-order it here), but you can listen to it below, exclusively at SPIN.