Fun hip-hop has not gone the way of the edible walrus, and Animal Nation knows that fun hip-hop can still be good with their brand new EP, The Basement Tapes Vol. 1 (URBNET), but by no means is this music meant to be tossed off as unimportant. If you want tracks about hanging out in the club and smelling stagnant air filled with the stench of farts, go elsewhere. If you want hip-hop that is about the experience of living and hearing it done in a spirited way, Animal Nation know the deal. They are a mixture of real instrumentation and samples, so they could be a reflection of the acid jazz movement but that term may make people think they’re dated, but they’re not. I could easily imagine these guys doing well as music festivals and touring with groups like Katchafire and Malanguats, and it is that organic vibe that shows that what makes a difference in music is when you not only give it a heartbeat, but when the artist put their hearts into it too.