When keeping it right goes wrong
Branching off from closet hipster Noz's excellent ethering of Gnarls Barkley (wonder where he got that idea?), I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at a few other examples where teh ghey conscious rappers decided they were too good to make regular hip-hop anymore.
Here is a list of the ones I'm familiar with in order from best to worst.
Mos Def, The New Danger (2004). I must not have been in a good mood that year, because I fucking
savaged ethered this bad boy when I reviewed it back in 2004. Amusingly enough, I'll still give this a spin though every now and again - possibly because the prominent guitar sound appeals to my suburban nature. And Mos probably raps on more of this than you'd think.
Andre 3000, The Love Below (2003). Like roughly 10 (er, 5) million other people, I actually bought this. The thing is, I only listened to it maybe once or twice, and then just spun Speakerboxxx. I'm closed minded like that. That said, my theory is that 3000 might be better suited for this sort of thing, and any solo rap album he put out (especially now) would kinda suck.
Common, Electric Circus (2002). Shocking Revelation #3: This album was probably a bit better than that teh ghey-ass shit he put out with Kanye and what was left of J Dilla at the time. Except for the parts that were really, really gay, this album had a unique sound that, like the Mos Def album, might appeal more to people with a frame of reference outside of hip-hop.
NERD, In Search Of (2002). Like the Gin Blossoms 1990s release Dusted, you don't necessarily want to mess around with the early, Europe-only version of this album. But the version they did with funk rock weed carriers Spy Mob has its moments. I mean, it sounds cool, but the problem is that neither Pharrell nor the Asian fellow (or the other, Jarobi-style bag handler) are very good song writers.
NERD, Fly or Die (2004). Like my portly Puerto Rican brother Fat Joe, I'll admit to liking that one "She Wants to Move" song quite a bit. But the rest of this was one big nasty botched abortion. I think one or both of the guys from Good Charlotte might have been involved. I know one is banging Hilary Duff, the fucker.
Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (2006). Yep, this Gnarls Barkley album, despite it's knee-slappingly hilarious references to Denzel Washington TV shows ('90s babies, do your homework) actually manages to be a little bit worse than even that second NERD album, if you can imagine. At least that had one song on it that I liked.
And that's pretty much it. I heard that Kamaal the Abstract album back when it was released (not that I've been on the Internets that long...), but only enough to know that it was an abortion in musical form. And of course I've never heard anything by Divine Styler. Who do you bags think I am?
Nullus on this whole post.