Verbals by A to the L
Lloyd Banks – My House (G-Unit / Interscope)
The first single from Banks’ sophomore effort “Rotten Apple” sees 50’s right hand man link up with Timbaland with fairly lacklustre results. Its not really a good combination – Banks’ pedestrian flow and gruff voice sit awkwardly over Timbo’s average beat, and the absence of any kind of memorable hook practically ensures that this will not make any kind of lasting imprint on the average TRL kid. Its the Mobb Deep syndrome all over again innit?
RATING – 5 / 10
Robin Thicke – Wanna Love You Girl Remix (Star Trak / Interscope)
Hated this faggotty shit the first time around, and the addition of remix whore Busta and a bored Pharrell on the mic and on the boards doesn’t make this any more endearing. I fail to see why people are raving over Mr Thicke. Wow! Its a white guy who sounds a bit like Prince! Who fucking cares?
RATING – 1 / 10
Jameelah – I’m Dat Bitch (Entrust)
This however, is MUCH more entertaining. Thug Princess Jameelah hails from the Orlando / Ft. Myers area of Florida and delivers a nice little mixtape heater. Uptempo, bass heavy and hook driven, ‘I’m Dat Bitch’ will slot in comfortably between the ‘Get Low’s’, the ‘Saltshakers’ and the ‘I’m Sprung’s’ on many a commercial radio DJ mix session. Its not to everyone’s tastes of course, but for those of us who are up on their southern releases, it’s a strong track. Holla at Jameelah on myspace for more info.
RATING – 7/5 / 10
Pharrell ft Kanye West – Number One
What the fuck is going on with Pharrell? What are these weak ass drums? What is this plinky plonky shit? Why does this sound like another ‘remix’ of that Robin Thicke nonsense? Where the hell is Chad Hugo? Why have the egos of both Pharrell and Kanye grown to such enormous proportions? Why have people let their craniums swell to these outrageous sizes without mentioning that their recent output is pure toilet? Why does Kanye think he’s some kind of amazing emcee? Why did he rhyme myspace with myspace? Why am I still listening to this shite?
RATING – 2 / 10
Daddy Yankee ft Snoop Dogg – Gangsta Zone
Its a reggaeton record. You know how all reggaeton records start with a decent bassline, before the drums drop and you realise that they all actually sound IDENTICAL? Guess what? This one isn’t the exception. The sequence of events goes like this… bassline… drums… some shouting in Spanish… a chorus that sounds exactly like how DY sings all his other choruses… Snoop phones in a verse… some more shouting and choruses to fade. The first 20 seconds of the instrumental are dope though.
RATING – 4 / 10
Yo Gotti ft Bun B & 8Ball- Gangsta Party (TVT)
Yeah I know its been out for yonks (matter of fact much of the stuff that actually appears in the Singles Reviews section has been out for a bit before it appears on here… reason being, it lies on my floor for a bit after I receive it until I get a decent enough number of targets to rip up… but anyway.) The Marvin sample annoys the shit out of me, and the track really gives a poor impression of the Memphis native – there are so many decent tracks on his “Back 2 Da Basics” longplayer that deserved the push before this. Its definitely aimed at radio, but the problem is the intro pretty much makes it unmixable, so it won’t really hang around too much. I know it hasn’t round here anyway.
RATING – 5 / 10
Styles P ft Rashad – Favorite One (Interscope)
“Yo, Styles P! What up man, its ya boy Rashad here. I just had a great idea. Lets take that Crystal Waters track… you know that ‘Gypsy Woman’ shit? Yeah, lets grab that… slow it down a little, put a little bump in it and spit some game to the ladies over the top. You can drop the verbals and I’ll do a little bit of singing on the hook. Nobody will expect it, and we’ll have a smash hit on our hands! Does that sound like a plan? Dope… dope. OK lets hit the studios and get this thing recorded.”
Lets just pretend TI’s – ‘Why You Wanna’ never existed, shall we? If that didn’t herb you altogether, then the fact that Stylez drops the line, “she’s the shit like some stools” should have the listeners quickly moving on, shuddering from the experience.
RATING – 2 / 10
Pitbull – Bojangles (TVT)
Wow, this is fucking coconuts. Drawing influences from the success of his ‘Shake It’ collab with Ying Yang, and his appearances on records with Lil Jon, DJ Khaled and Collipark, Pitbull drops a serious, serious heavyhitter. Loaded with synths and bass, and with another ‘Shake It’-like driving chorus, ‘Bojangles’ is guaranteed to tear clubs up for the next few months. Hopefully, this is is an indication that sophomore album “El Mariel” will be worth copping.
RATING – 8.5 / 10
Jurassic 5 ft Dave Matthews Band – Work It Out (Interscope)
Main Entry: boring
Part of Speech: adjective
Synonyms: arid, bromidic, bummer, characterless, cloying, colorless, commonplace, dead, drab, drag, drudging, dull, flat, ho hum, humdrum, insipid, interminable, irksome, lifeless, monotonous, moth-eaten, platitudinous, plebeian, prosaic, repetitious, routine, spiritless, stale, stereotyped, stodgy, stuffy, stupid, tame, tedious, threadbare, tiresome, tiring, trite, unexciting, unvaried, vapid, wearisome, well-worn, zero.
Looks like Dictionary.com’s thesaurus entry for the word ‘boring’ just gained another synonym. Sweet mother of fuck, what in Christ’s name is this abomination? If Jurassic 5 weren’t already languishing in many peoples’ ‘Music for Navel Gazing’ file, then this piece of crap should ensure that they end up in there. Its little wonder that Cut Chemist fucked off. It was probably either that or suicide.
RATING – 0 / 10
Pastor Troy – Break It Up (SMC Recordings)
Pastor Troy makes me want to break everything (unlike say, Jurassic 5, who just make me want to break my neck and my speakers.) In this instance, PT’s breakery-urging is good, as he instructs me and my buddies to form a little squadron, roll to the club, and wreck my entire surroundings and anyone who gets in my way, and not to fear the intervenings of the nasty po-po, because THEY can’t break up our little posse. Horns, hi-hats, gunshots, and rabid vocals all mesh together to produce a nice little anthem to get pumped up to (no homo), and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the good Pastor’s instructions resulted in many’s a friendly club riot around the ATL area. Violence has never sounded so good.
RATING – 7.5 / 10
Obie Trice ft Akon – Snitch (Shady Records)
This is complete wank from 2 people I do not care about in the slightest. I’d actually rather listen to that Jurassic 5 record again than suffer any more of this. Obie can’t rhyme. Akon can’t sing. Why do they persist?
RATING – 0 / 10
Critical Madness – First Amendment / Dropped (Deadbeat Recordings)
Wow. This is truly an amazing record. Critical Madness come out of central Florida, and follow a more ‘traditional’ Hiphop path than many of their Southern neighbors. On ‘First Amendment’ the politically charged rhymes of both Critical and Madness and guest vocallist Sabac Red are delivered over producer Tempermental’s dusty grooves and interspersed with Mobb Deep scratches. Its a truly stunning 5 minutes. ‘Dropped’ meanwhile builds on the reputation, with harder drums and a crescendo of horns and strings supporting Critical and Madness as they aggressively warn rivals to back off. These cats look they’re going to be worth watching.
RATING – 9 / 10
Macromantics – Four Facets / Conspiracy (Quake Trap)
Fuck me, this is hard work. Macromantics is one of these folks who think that being an emcee means that you have to fit as many words into your lines as you can… like somehow regurgitating a dictionary on a microphone makes you ‘dope’. Seriously, its not. There’s flow to consider. And voice. And the music that’s supporting your words. Unfortunately, this Australian female has decided to disregard these important issues, and just do her own thing. Admirable? Of course. But… it sounds like shit, love. Really. Both tracks are teeth-grindingly awful and just make me want to pull out this fucking J5 record again. The presskit blurb promises a ‘personalized interpretation of Hiphop that revolves around intellectual confrontation’ that breaks taboos. A to the L translation: It sucks anal fissures. Through a straw. Just put the mic down and walk away. Quickly.
RATING – 0 / 10