25 That Should’ve Made the Cut: Part 3

August 18, 2009

In which we conclude our list of 25 albums overlooked by Passion of the Weiss‘s Top 50 Albums of the Decade. As before, albums are listed chronologically by year. Previously:

Turf Talk — West Coast Vaccine (The Cure) (Sick Wid It/3030, 2007)

Listen: “Holla At You” ft. Rick Rock

On his sophomore effort, E-40’s younger cousin showed incredible growth over some of the best production of any Bay Area album, period. The strongest full-length to come out of the short-lived “hyphy movement,” West Coast Vaccine breaks new ground with almost every track, pushing the micro-genre to its spaced-out extreme while also reflecting Turf’s years spent growing up in Southern California. Producers Rick Rock and Droop-E contribute the most inventive tracks of their careers, while Turf constantly experiments with his delivery, his flow complementing each instrumental in often unexpected ways (check his whisper-rapping on the otherwise punishing “Broke N*ggas!”) Poorly promoted upon its release, the album has since achieved a sort of cult status, with Turf recognized as one of the strongest representatives of the Bay’s new generation. It’s a reputation he deserves, having crafted an album that, for excitement and originality, rivals any American rap release of the last ten years.

Hook

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A comeback that nobody wants.

July 27, 2009

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Just when you thought you couldn’t lose any more faith in humanity (or hip hop for that matter), Ja Rule plans a comeback.

http://www.sohh.com/2009/07/ja_rule_asks_fans_to_help.html

Now while hip hop falls into the same ballpark as politics and religion in terms of never having any universal agreement, I think it’s safe to say that NOBODY, not even the most liberal or forgiving hip hop fan, wants to hear anything new from Ja. Dude is quite possibly the most unlistenable “artist” to ever enter the hip hop realm, and I’ve heard more than enough of my fair share of terrible shit in my time (Silkk The Shocker, anyone?). Admittedly I’ve never listened to a Ja Rule album in full, but honestly, aside from an album of his maybe having some halfway decent production, what does the guy have to offer?

-Wack, non-creative, uninspiring lyricism and flow? Check.

-Tired, overused subject matter and song concepts? Check.

-An annoying, growling voice that sounds better (albeit not much) coming from DMX? Check.

-God-awful attempts at singing while hypocritically trying to maintain a “gangsta” image at the same time? Check.

-Career essentially already destroyed by 50 Cent and Eminem, and probably his own wackness? Check.

-Guy just seems like a fucking asshole? Check.

Alright, alright, I admit that last one may be a little biased, but c’mon. You can be a douche and still make good music. Just look at Kanye (pre-808s And Heartbreak). What I never understood is how this guy ever got a record deal, let alone became so successful at one time. Dude was/is on Def Jam for fuck’s sake (although, if you’ve read my man Hook’s previous posts, many of Def Jam’s marketing strategies over the past several years have been far from good or smart). I just can’t picture credible artists like Jay-Z, Erick Sermon, Method Man, Redman and even R. Kelly agreeing to work with this guy, and yet they all have. Even more puzzling is the concept of Ja having actual fans. And by fans, I’m not referring to teenagers and college girls who will shake their asses to anything “with a beat”; they don’t know any better. I mean people who actually listen to hip hop and name Ja as one of their favorite artists. I’m not seeing it.

Referring to the link I posted above, I find it rather comical that Ja is reaching out to his “fans” to help him come up with a title for his new album, as if anybody gives a fuck about his new shit dropping. In an age where iTunes and ringtones dominate the music industry, do you really think anybody is checking for a new Ja Rule album (not to mention, a new Ja Rule jewelry line)? Getdafuckouttahere.

Silkk The Shocker, where are you when we need you?

(Word to the homie Hook, how’s this for a first post?)