Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #2 Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher


Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until we unveil our #1 album of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

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#2 Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher

Nobody does it quite like Scott Herren, heard here under the moniker Prefuse 73, and One Word Extinguisher is the perfect representation of his unique style. While Herren's style on this album can be described as a glitch hip-hop style, it feels wrong to refer to the album as simply "glitch-hop" because that description just sounds overused and cold, and this album (and Herren's work in general) is anything but.

One Word Extinguisher was released in 2003 on Warp Records, and was Herren's second release as Prefuse 73 (other alias' and projects include: Delarosa & Asora and Savath & Savalas). The tracks on One Word Extinguisher are sexy, but in a seedy and dangerous kind of way. On the album are the kind of songs you would be dancing to in the back of a dark night club with a guy who is not your boyfriend—scratch that—these are the songs that make you want to cheat on your boyfriend, and want to get caught. Scott Herren has perfected his blend of turntable electronic hip hop that cuts like a knife yet is smoother than Laura Scudder's o'natural. He produces a soundtrack with music that you can dance to ("Detchibe," "Choking You," and "Preverted Undertone") in addition to it being an ultimate chill record.

While Herren has a few tracks featuring MC's Diverse ("Plastic") and Mr. Lif ("Heuvos with Jeff and Rani"), the rapping is more interwoven to add something to the song, much like a sample would do, never taking away from Herren's beautiful instrumental break beats. Tommy Guerrero, Ann Arborte Dabrye and Daedelus also partner up with Herren for co-production on a handful of tracks.

Prefuse 73 reminds us on this album of what could have been in hip hop. He showcases organic hip hop beats reminiscent of the days when beats were inspired from time spent crate-diving versus today's processed-heavy mainstream hip hop, which is primarily created by a handful of producers re-working the same tired backdrops. Except of course that Herren is more comfortable with computers than he is turntables; making him to computer-analog beats, what DJ Shadow is to turntable beats. One Word Extinguisher stands out above the pack because it was so before its time that it NEVER sounds dated, and because nobody has—or even attempted—to do it better.

- Nicole Coxe

Check back tomorrow for the #1 ALBUM! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.

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