It’s been a chockablock couple of months in terms of new musical offerings and while it’s beyond me to comprehensively review everything I’ve been listening to lately, I wanted to mention a couple of things in no particular order, with examples! :)
Doomtree – Doomtree
Easily one of the most talented collectives in hip hop right now, Doomtree finally blessed us with a group album (self titled). It’s rather good. As with a lot of their stuff, there’s a big punk influence meshed with the straight up hip hop and it works gloriously. P.O.S. is probably the most noticeable face of the crew but there really is no weak link to be found.
The Game – LAX
3 albums and countless mixtapes in and Game is still superbly embodying almost everything you love about gangsta rap. There’s still no Dre reunion but to be honest, I’ve given up noticing. You can criticise The Game’s lyrics as much as you want – (the consistent name-dropping is getting to almost a parody of himself by now) – but one thing he’s always shown is an ear for a quality beat, and to his credit, while not necessarily stellar, he’s never weak on the tracks.
GZA/Genius – Pro Tools
Not a great album title, and to be honest, not a great album on the first couple of listens, but that’s probably because I can’t help but compare every GZA release to Liquid Swords and that’s not especially fair is it(?) There’s no denying that there’s just something lazy about his delivery these days though, and it’s a shame because lyrically, he’s still a beast.
Ice Cube – Raw Footage
Listening to this album it makes me wonder how the fuck films like Are We There Yet? ever got made. Ice Cube clearly isn’t meant for the kids. It’s a welcome return to form and is the reason I said that The Game is ‘almost’ everything you love about gangsta rap.. Because as much as he idolises NWA, his content isn’t a tenth as good as Cube at his peak (or even remotely close to his peak). Peep the video for Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It. Brilliant.
Also in rotation and worthy of a listen (and maybe a future more detailed post);
- Nas – Untitled (didn’t really live up to the hype but still, not bad for his NINTH ALBUM!!! mental.)
- The Wackness – Soundtrack (nothing new to be heard but a good one for reminiscing to when it wasn’t all business..)
- El-P – WeAreAllGoingToBurnInHellMeggamixxx2 (free on the def jux site and even better than the first one)
- One Day As A Lion (a fairly decent stand in for new RATM material)