Well to refresh from Part I:
“Ten Fastest Rappers
I am not really a hiphop or gansta music fan, I am not into the culture of debasement, or cursing for cursings sake that highlights much of the music that people play too loud or too often. But when the music transcends this or embraces, at least a little, of its LAST POETS origins of empowerment and enlightenment in addition to impressive vocal stylings, then it earns my interest.
I heard one song by Twista a while ago that I quite liked. Not sure if that song was an exception, but coming across this list of fastest rappers I thought it would be a good week to find out.
So utilizing my local library I will be sampling the output of the listed rappers to see if one can find quality that matches the vaunted speed. I’ll keep you posted.”
Well that was then, this is now. I’ve tried some CDs from those artists and here is what I have to report:
THE GREAT: DESERVING OF BUYING AND ADDING TO YOUR COLLECTION
GENIUS by Kriz Kaliko is at once playful and fun and smart and awesome, a relative rarity in the often dire hip-hop landscape. At once whimsical and wonderful. A throwback to the days of rap as an expression of hope rather than simply hubris or hate. Grade: A
THE GOOD: A FEW SONGS YOU CAN DO WITHOUT, BUT OVERALL A VERY GOOD LISTENING EXPERIENCE AND WORTH A BUY
GIVE THE DRUMMER SOME by Travis Barker is an odd pedigree for a very good hip hop album, but add a heavy metal/hard rock drummer who decides to assemble the world’s best rappers to write and perform to his heavy drum riffs, and surprisingly that’s what you get… a very good album. There is something in its genre defying blend of Hip-Hop and Rock and high production values that is reminiscent of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, while remaining uniquely itself. Not all the songs are home-runs, I do think it ends weaker than it begins, the last few songs not as good as the majority of the album, but not enough to derail this album. An album that in this age of downloads and Itunes is deserving of owning the actual cd. Grade: B+.
THE OKAY:WORTH A LISTEN BUT NOT A BUY
THE BLUEPRINT 2 by Jay-Z – 50/50. Half of the songs are mediocre fast forward material, the other half is worth a listen, and even a couple of great songs. Some standouts being POPPIN TAGS with Twista, THE WATCHER 2, 03 BONNIE AND CLYDE, GUNS & ROSES, U DONT KNOW,
VICTORY by DJ Khaled – Most of the album is mediocre, up until the last 4 songs which are really very good. BRINGING REAL RAP BACK being a highlight.
THE DAY AFTER by Twista – Twista is one of the most adept rappers, and his flow is impressive and compelling. However most of this album is about slapping hoes or getting mine or killing, I just can’t give much time or interest to that mentality, no matter how lyrically impressively it is presented. I could definitely see the argument for some calling this a great album, for me it is too gangsta for my liking. That translates into THE DAY AFTER having only a few songs out of the 15 that I consider worth a 2nd listen. They are: THE DAY AFTER, CHECK THAT HOE (is so well done that I have to give it attention, despite the virulence of its lyrics), GET IT HOW YOU LIVE, and OUT HERE.
PRISONER OF CONSCIOUS by Talib Kweli – Pretty much none of the songs do anything for me. Exception is the last song which is IT ONLY GETS BETTER. Get that single and forget the rest of the album. Grade: D-.
More reviews on the way.