Filed under: Album Reviews
…but didn’t. Internet time is a bitch: as soon as something’s dropped everyone’s had their say and I feel like too much of a lazy douche to even bother. Still, this is my soap box and I’ve been meaning to say something about the following four albums for a while, so here are my brief, rather belated thoughts on The Renaissance, Main Source, Remind Me In 3 Days and Stick 2 The Script. Deal with it.
Q-Tip – ‘Feva’
taken from The Renaissance (Universal/Motown, 2008)
The most highly written about album of this quartet is of course the long awaited Amplified follow-up and rightly so because in short, it’s brilliant. Tip sounds as lively as ever, the beats are all great (bar the Norah Jones collab) and it actually feels like a properly conceived album rather than a thrown together collection of random cuts. If for whatever reason you haven’t listened to or bought this yet then you’re doing yourself a horrible disservice and need to take a long hard look at yourself. That’s right, feel ashamed. Along with the P Brothers’ album this is my favourite hip hop release of the year and I can’t imagine much changing in the remaining weeks of 2008.
I’ve thrown up ‘Feva’ because it looks to be a bonus track left off the American release so I’m assuming some of you may not have it. To be honest, it’s not a great loss if you’re missing it, but if your completism tendencies run as deep as mine then it’s essential. Thank me later now.
Large Pro – ‘Rockin’ Hip Hop’
taken from Main Source (Gold Dust, 2008)
More boom bap legend comeback action? You betcha, and despite this seeming to have a relatively limited impact on the blog scene this is an enjoyable return to form that houses some undeniable bangers. Large Pro doesn’t sound any better or worse on the mic than at any other point in his career and since I always fell down on the ‘I actually kind of like his rapping’ side of the fence I’m fine with that. The production is on point too, your man Extra P effortlessly finding that fine balance between something new and heavily trodden ground that a project like this needs to succeed. Sure, there are a few missteps and it ain’t The Renaissance, but I’ve got a soft spot for this album and its unabashed ‘true’ hip hop aesthetic. If Main Source passed you by then give it a whirl: I suspect you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The Knux – ‘Fire (Put It In The Air)’
taken from Remind Me In 3 Days (Interscope, 2008)
A surprising deviance from my usual musical diet, but thanks to Jeff’s championing I’ve been really enjoying bits and pieces from this album. It’s a little goofy in places and some of it just isn’t to my taste, but at a base level this is a refreshing pop album that deserves much wider exposure and a significantly heftier push from Interscope who clearly don’t realise that Remind Me In 3 Days possesses serious mass appeal. I obviously lean towards the more straight up hip hop offerings like ‘Parking Lot’ and ‘Fire (Put It In The Air)’, but the vibe in general is honest, enjoyable and more than worthy of your time. As a bonus, your girlfriend will probably love it. Keep that lady in your life happy fellas…
Statik Selektah – ‘Talkin’ Bout You (Ladies)’ feat. Skyzoo, Joell Ortiz & Talib Kweli
taken from Stick 2 The Script (Showoff/Brick, 2008)
Before listening to this album I assumed that it would be a relatively well crafted producer compilation drop flooded with too many guest MC spots and production that was well-executed yet simultaneously dull. I was right. However, dip in and out of Stick 2 The Script and there’s some short-lived fun to be had here with tracks such as ‘Talkin’ Bout You (Ladies)’ and ‘So Good (Live From The Bar)’ having enough substance to get your nod on. This will inevitably end up gathering dust somewhere in my CD collection only to be broken out in a year or two for another brief spell in rotation but I figure it’s just about worth it. Just.
In an alternate and completely self-centred universe I’d have the man at the helm trim down the collaboration list and get a little less polished on the beat next time around, but since he’s unlikely to do so and said universe’s existence is solely in my head I won’t bore you any further. Dismissed.