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Posts Filed Under Music Reviews

The Rocker

Filed Under: Music Reviews

rebirth-450x432In the opening of “Hailey’s Song,” Eminem, who had already broken down barriers in the rap world by virtue of being white (and lyrically innovative), says “I can’t sing/I feel like singing/I wanna fuckin’ sing.” And at the end, after what is a vocally atrocious but still very endearing song, he says “I told you I couldn’t sing/Oh well, I tried.”

Were “Hailey’s Song,” in all its experimental glory, an entire album – it would be Lil Wayne’s Rebirth: daring, bold, endearing, and not entirely …good.

As a preface, I should say I’ve been listening to an illegally downloaded ultimate version of Rebirth, which includes all of the tracks officially released this week, as well as a few that had been leaked months ago and were later pulled from the CD. In all, after more than few delayed releases, Weezy popped out nearly two-dozen songs for Rebirth, which was marketed as (and is) the rapper’s attempt to merge his own hip-hop style with rock influences. I don’t have the energy to figure out which songs were part of the final release and which weren’t—moreover, all of the songs were arguably intended for inclusion on a professional album—but I figure having a few extra ones to go off of just means Wayne gets a more comprehensive chance at impressing me. Read More ›

 
kira

4:30 PM on February 5th, 2010 | 

Posted by kira

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Merci Bocu

Filed Under: Music Reviews, Zero Tolerance

UGKFuck the catchy songs.

Getting a song stuck in one’s head is an interesting phenomenon, as it does not necessarily depend on the song being technically good. I mean, remember Bubba Sparxxx? Yeesh. Or better yet, “Hollaback Girl” — that shit was auditory terrorism.

That said, having a predilection for hip hop, you find yourself often at the mercy of a pretty retarded song with a savagely infectious beat. Specifically, I have most recently been bitten by UGK’s newest release, UGK 4 Life. I mean… the title kind of says it all already. Like, I seriously think this shit might be stuck in my head for the rest of my life.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I ain’t beefin’ with nobody. Pimp C and Bun B are talented as hell and UGK very well could be the best Southern rap has to offer. The beats are a veritable bouquet of organs, guitars, bass and other live instruments, pleasantly reminiscent of a time when hip hop’s heavy use of funk samples gave it a little more soul than Kanye’s GarageBand experiments. Nonetheless, the lyrics are… well, they’re typical of the Dirty.

The most sinisterly catchy song on the album features, of course, Akon on the hook. Despite the fact that the song’s instrumentation is fantastic, and Pimp C and Bun B’s verses are hot fire, I’m really beginning to remember why “The Sweet Escape” was so god damned annoying. It’s really hard to concede to the dark power of a chorus like this:

That girl she got me, the way she movin’ in place
Bendin’ over, spreadin’ eagle, all that ass in my face
She got me hard as hell
Got me pokin’ like a nail
She got me hard as hell
I can’t control it, can’t you tell baby?

In fact, why not just listen to it? You know I be havin’ that hook up.

Yeah, just try singing that to the delight of a packed Brooklyn train car. I can’t wait. But by all means, get the album. I love it, and I’m pretty sure it’s turning me into a misogynist — but after all, misery loves company.

Ron Isley’s on a track, does that help?

 
aaron

3:30 PM on April 11th, 2009 | 

Posted by aaron

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Ante Up Every Way

Filed Under: Music Reviews

Looking for a new album to drive recklessly to just as the weather’s starting to get nice enough to roll the windows down? LA rapper, producer, and self-obsessed tough guy of all trades, Adrian Champion just released a White Stripes mashup album full of time-tested hip hop acapellas on top of scorching, raw guitar riffs and percussive piano-driven beats. Put simply, it’s the sonic manifestation of the term “badass.”

I’ve fallen a bit out of touch with the mashup scene in recent months; admittedly, the supersaturation of worn-out formulas was starting to get to even me and my bottomless collection of regrettable Flo Rida remixes. Nonetheless, I remain both vigilant and open-minded in my search for fresh ideas in the genre of bastardizing classic songs until they resemble more closely the musical equivalent of chicken pot pie. And let me make this certain: I’ve had a lot of chicken pot pie in my time, but I assure you, I still love me a chicken mother fucking pot pie. So check out the trailer below, it should get you salivating enough to start reaching across the table for the download link.

The White Stripes made a name for themselves with their bare bones, classic sound, and Champion maintains this theme with his selection of vocal samples from various rap legends. The gritty production quality of the instrumentation forms an unlikely but perfectly complementary backdrop to the mid-to-late 90s gangland mainstream hip hop that inhabits most of the album.

The potential to draw comparisons between the last decade’s notable ghetto warfare and rapper-brawling, and the old, lawless days of grizzled cowboys shooting each other dead in the dusty streets across the Wild West has always been there, but this masterfully produced mix has brought the parallels to the forefront like nothing before. And the result is a head-bobbing, genre-defying sonic assault that carves out new territory while still remaining reverent and faithful to the samples that made it all possible.

Champion might occasionally come across a bit like the obnoxious dude at the high school lunch table who won’t stop talking about how big his dick is with all his DJ call-outs spattering the album, claiming it as a “brand new classic.” Nonetheless, his arrogance may be undesirable but it’s not exactly undeserved — this mixtape does for The White Stripes what Danger Mouse did for The Beatles way back on The Grey Album, the album that just may have set off the entire mashup craze in the first place. It’s an illuminating 48 minutes — presented flawlessly, fun to listen to without turning into generic overdone dance trash, and best of all, more than the sum of its parts.

 
aaron

2:45 PM on March 31st, 2009 | 

Posted by aaron

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Girl, I’ve Been Waiting All Night

Filed Under: Music Reviews

In a particularly brilliant display of clairvoyance, I featured mindfucking mixtape up and comers The Hood Internet in last week’s Be Shareful column. Well yesterday afternoon, when I finished listening to every song they’ve ever created and was at a loss as to what I would listen to next, I headed over to their blog and have since spiraled even further into the depths of addiction because of it.

hoodinternet1

The Chicago-based duo premiered their third mixtape on Monday in a unique display of nonexistant pre-release hype, particularly compared to the kind of press Girl Talk got leading up to the release of this summer’s Feed The Animals. With the kind of work these guys are putting in though, it’s only a matter of time before there isn’t a loft in Williamsburg that hasn’t heard of them, so get downloading now or you’ll be more passé than your dork ass wayfarers.

While the album isn’t necessarily their far and away best effort yet, it’s certainly the most creative of the three and easily holds its own next to their previous releases. Additionally, The Mixtape Volume Three is the longest of their full lengths, clocking in at a monstrous 34 tracks long, spanning perhaps the most diverse array of samples The Hood Internet have ransacked yet. It probably also breaks some record for number of Lil’ Wayne appearances, and would come close on the T. Pain front as well if not for mainstream hip hop, which currently requires songs to feature a T. Pain vocal to be considered part of the genre. Read More ›

 
aaron

10:05 AM on October 21st, 2008 | 

Posted by aaron

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