Josh Martinez likes to smoke weed. He also likes to drink beer and have sex with girls. I gather that he dislikes working, and things that do not involve weed, beer, and sex. This is a profile I've worked up from listening to Martinez's albums many, many times. This is not a list of attributes that would garner much attention on a Facebook profile, much less on a record, but somehow—perhaps it's through some Canadian magic, seeing as how Martinez recently relocated from Vancouver, BC, to Portland—it's compelling material for Martinez's five-plus hiphop releases.
From the release of his seminal album Buck Up Princess to his most recent effort, the EP Skulldruggery, Martinez has changed very little about his musical format. While that could be perceived as a decade-long stagnation for some, for Martinez—whose first album was a classic—this is sticking to a formula that works. Martinez is a rare rapper who has a voice capable of carrying a tune without the aid of a Vocoder. It's apparent in listening to Martinez's work that he takes more inspiration from the Beach Boys than the Beastie Boys. The same sweet hooks and vocal harmonies exist in his catalog as they do in the work of the Wilson Brothers & Co. While this kind of combination cooking can be dangerous and lead to some well-intentioned-yet-terrible music, in the case of Martinez, it's a success.
Listening to Martinez reminds you of hiphop at its best: fun, bouncy, and irrepressible. Those attributes abound in Martinez's body of work, but what supersedes them is listen-ability. Josh Martinez is an emcee who creates songs almost exclusively about weed, beer, and women—or a combination of all three, which is not revolutionary in any way. What's different about Martinez is that he's so damn talented that it doesn't matter what the subject matter is—it always sounds awesome.