Artist: Checks Thugs And Rock N Roll
Label: Romen Mpire Records
Score: 1 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
I know everyone’s gotta eat – but seriously… why?
Surely there’s someone out there who cares for Darryl McDaniels that could have stepped in at some point and said, “D, this really isn’t a great idea. Face it – your voice is shot. The beats in here sound like something some bedroom producer in Germany banged out as a demo (and the inclusion of Sarah McLachlan only strengthens that point of view.) Your voice is shot. Rock guitars are so ’88. And did I mention your voice is shot?”
Sadly, if they did speak up, they seem to have been shouted down (though obviously not by DMC) in favor of pushing this to a public who, to be brutally honest, don’t really care. Don’t you know its all about grillz right now – who gives a fuck about some washed up old has-been from Hollis?
This would be the ideal part to jump in with a “But, DMC has shocked them all…”-type line. But unfortunately, its not to be. This entire project is horrifically awful from start to finish. When D isn’t murdering Hendrix (‘Watchtower’) or regurgitating folk shite that your parents loved (‘Just Like Me’ which borrows heavily from ‘Cats In The Cradle’), then he’s stumbling badly over some idiot’s attempts to produce a club track (‘Freaky Chick’ where his ABC-123 delivery puts
Snoop Dogg 50 year old white cats into a whole new Rakim-like category) or mumbling anti-war nursery rhymes over redundant rock backing (‘Machine Gun’.)
Its actually painful to listen to. Not just because it DOES make my ears bleed, but because its shocking to see how far a legend of my own childhood has fallen. Its almost like someone beating your dad up in front of you, while you stand there and watch every blow being landed. Remember how bad we all thought DOC sounded after his car crash? This is AS bad (if not worse – at least DOC came back with some decent beats.) DMC’s voice has changed drastically from the booming confident tones that dominated 80’s Hiphop, to a scratchy, dry whine – and its excruciating to listen to, especially when laid over the top of such mindnumbingly boring production.
There are a few mini (and I do mean MINI) snippets of some listenable music – ‘Come Together’ reunites DMC with Run in an effort to recapture the old chemistry. The average beat (which is actually a high point compared to the rest of the project) makes the head nod for a few seconds, but ultimately the lack of JMJ makes this an empty track overall, and the Beatles’ invocation on the hook is nothing but irritating. Elsewhere, ‘Lovey Dovey’ is a fair attempt at a summery track, and ‘Cold’ bites Kanye quite well – definitely the two highest points on an album comprising entirely of audio flatness.
Overall though, you’re more likely to encounter Kid Rock than the King of Rock here, with a mixture of rubbish rock riffs and um… fucking folk fillers dominating the landscape throughout. Indeed Detroit’s answer to Kevin Federline actually pops up here on the carwreck that is ‘Find My Way’, helping to hammer those final nails into the coffin containing DMC’s career.
You know how we all like to pretend that “Crown Royal” never really came out, and that Run DMC retired after “Down With The King”? Lets just keep it that way, and forget about this too. Please do not pick this up. Any sales of this record will only encourage DMC to continue to put out ‘music’ like this… and truthfully, I don’t think D wants that either. This is destined for the sale bin, and there it should stay.