Artist: Pimp Tea
Album: An Urbal Remedy
Label: Brockway Entertainment
Rating: 1 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
Ok… lets get some things out of the way first. Pimp Tea’s first album (released under the Pimp-T moniker) was very very difficult to listen to. Props to homeboy for taking the criticisms, not just from this site but from several others, onboard and pledging to use them to make his follow-up better. More props for such a well-presented package, from the crispness of the mastering, to the quality of the inlays, to the abundance of information in the enclosed presskit, everything about the release screams quality.
Except for the music. (I guess many of you could see me building towards that.)
There’s no nice way to tell someone that they suck, and its especially difficult when Pimp Tea has approached me on so many occasions in such a humble and amicable manner. But the fact of the matter is that despite such a professionally put together package, despite pledging to do everything in his power to improve upon his debut, and despite the minor name change (from ‘Peace Is Mindful Power, Troy’ to ‘Positively Influencing More People To Excel Artistically’) this album still sucks a rabid donkey’s cock, mainly due to Pimp Tea’s microphone performance.
Y’see, after we criticised him for sounding like a Scooby Doo impersonator on the first album, he took the step of recording “An Urbal Remedy” in his own ‘day-to-day’ voice. That was the first wrong move. The second was the actual act of getting on the microphone at all. I’m really sorry – sorry to sound so harsh, and also sorry to use this term, but its the only one that provides a perfect description… he sounds ‘too white’.
“But Eminem is white, he’s a dope emcee. What about Necro, MC Serch, Eyedea and Copywrite and Cage?” Yes yes (y’all) I hear the names you reel off, and agree that yes that’s a fairly decent list of good white emcees. Pimp however sounds like the white emcees on the Ludacris skit. Yeah… you know that one where white people ‘do Luda’… I think the actual theme on that skit was “offbeat – and wack as fuck”. That’s Pimp Tea territory.
From start (with the incredibly annoying ‘Super Dude’ remix) to the teeth-grinding end (Diddy ripoff ‘P Tipty’) Pimp Tea’s vocal delivery sounds like a mixture of Colin Mochrie on ‘Whose Line’, Paul Barman, and Talib Kweli. However, the mixture combines Mochrie’s emcee skills, with Barman’s annoying voice, and Kweli’s tendency to jumble as many words into a line – I think you may be realising what I’m getting at here. My man is not a good rapper. In fact he’s not a rapper – period.
I realise that with this album, and the previous one, that Pimp Tea may well be aiming at a small market of people who actually like their rap to sound ‘white’… hell, with the flurry of praise he seems to have received already for this release, it certainly looks like there’s a shitload of people who are listening to stuff like this – some kind of alternative-loving crowd or something… I dunno. But… as a Hiphop release, this is just terrible.
Even if this is no more than an attempt to parody Hiphop and the Hiphop industry, it STILL doesn’t work. Its tempting to think, “Hey, this guy is deliberately rapping off beat, with no breath control, in a nerdy voice, just to take the piss”… but as the album progresses, that thought gives way to the realisation that this is in fact a REAL performance – THIS is how Pimp Tea raps and THIS is his idea of a REAL quality release.
As with the first album, the only saving grace in places here are the beats. Some real underground Canadian Hiphop heavyweights have stepped in on the boards to provide some impressive production – Classified’s work on ‘This Is Me’, Cal’s on ‘Sometimes’ and J.Bru’s ‘Music Biz’ especially stand out. Unfortunately their work is rendered virtually unlistenable by Pimp’s hurried, jumbled flows – ‘Music Biz’ is particularly bad, as he races to squeeze too much info into each bar, in his haste to tell a story about Pink Floyd not getting any radio play. Yes, that’s what I said.
Couple this with the fact that halfway through the album, the ‘bonus’ section begins, which basically sees some badly-produced techno mixes of a few of the songs already heard, along with ‘fresh’ techno bollocks, and you’ll see that things really don’t look good for ol’ Pimpster in the ‘chances of getting a high review score’ game.
As I said in the beginning its hard to tell people that they just aren’t good – but unfortunately that’s what I have to do here. This is nothing more than a horrible emcee rapping over some horrible beats, and turning the few good beats on here into skip-fodder simply by putting his voice on them. I’ve already mentioned the praise Pimp Tea has received for this – so SOMEONE somewhere likes this type of stuff and is buying it. However, it ain’t me, and I can’t recommend it to any readers either.