The tax write-off roundup

First of all, we should get something out of the way here: Illegal file sharing is wrong, especially when it’s a good artist. As we’ve seen in the case of Lupe Fiasco, wide bootlegging of an artist’s album too far prior to its release date could cause said artist to have to go back and record several new singles for the album, including one with Jay-Z.

And we wouldn’t want that happening, now would we?

With that in mind, here’s my take on three highly anticipated upcoming rap albums.

In My Mind sucks balls

Granted, I do possess a certain tendency towards gift for hyperbole, but Pharrell Williams first solo album, In My Mind, could very well be the worst hip-hop album evar. I figured it wasn’t going to be any good anyway, just because none of the other Neptunes albums (two N.E.R.D. albums, plus the Clones album) were any good and the fact that the label decided to push it back from late last year to the middle of the summer, when all the tax write-off albums come out, was a bad sign.

Still, even a hater such as myself wasn’t prepared for a shit sandwich of this magnitude. To give you an idea, the ill-fated single from late last year, “Can I Have It Like That” with Gwen Stefani, is the best song on this bitch by a long shot. I don’t know if they stuck to it or not, but the idea with this album was to have seven rap songs and seven R&B songs. The rap songs, as you’d expect, are bad, but the R&B songs are just fucking awful. Like embarrassingly bad.

The Last Stand is just aiight

Anything (even the death rattle of your first born) would sound good compared to In My Mind, but alas this new Boot Camp Clik album has its own share of issues. I imagine your mileage may vary, depending on how much you dig on this style of rap, but I’ve found almost all of the Boot Camp Clik comeback material I’ve heard in the past year or so to be somewhat underwhelming, and this album doesn’t manage to buck that trend.

I wasn’t too crazy at all about the album Buckshot did with 9th Wonder, but in the meantime, it would seem as if I’ve begun to warm to the idea of the Boot Camp rapping over his tired bullshit, similar to the way the new Murs album eventually grew on me. 9th tackles three beats on this, while Pete Rock, Da Beatminerz, and Large Professor all handle one track each. The rest of the album’s tracks are handed off to a gang of no-name producers and range from pretty good to kinda shitty, with kinda shitty being the case more often than you’d like.

Game Theory is boring

Finally, I’m sure this new Roots album is easily the most highly anticipated of the bunch. Their last album, which was also their last album on Geffen, was kinda wack, but at the same time still a bit better than it gets credit for. Two years after the fact, I can still kinda enjoy it in the same way that you can’t help but enjoy the new album by fellow Geffen tax write-off Sonic Youth. You can tell they were trying really hard to make something enjoyable.

This new Roots album, meanwhile, is about the exact opposite. ?uestlove apparently wasn’t lying when he said this would be some dark, brooding shit. Corny lead single “Don’t Feel Right” and Long Time” with Peedi Peedi, which are both fairly drab in their own right, are about as light as this set gets, to give you an idea. Black Thought mostly ditches rapping about nothing, which is what he’s good at, for trying to kick knowledge, which I found mostly grating. Crack carrier Malik B pops up here and there and doesn’t sound especially different than he did ten years ago, but it’s not like his presence can save this from being the boring joykill that it is.

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Randomname

    1′ST, mAYBE

  • e

    Or worse lupe fiasco rapping along with mike shinoda but what about the game’s cd its gonna be a tax write off because 50 won’t be writing the hooks

  • Randomname

    Now that that’s out of the way, I kinda enjoyed the roots last album or first listen, and grew to really like it over time.
    But this one I’m not feeling off jump, but I’m sure it’ll grow to at least kinda liking it. Or maybe go all the way from not feeling it to Prasing it. IE the Black Album

  • khal

    You don’t like the BCC comeback stuff? I thought you dug that Sean Price album…?

    In My Mind is kind of trashy… his singing is ridiculous. He is trying too hard to sound decent…

  • Rey

    Pharrell is fucking terrible, and the only thing that would get me to buy his album would be if he promised to never make “music” again, and then move to a desert island. He could even take the Black Eyed Peas with him! Of course, the threat there is that they’ll decide to do a collabo and destroy the universe with some bastard spawn of “Hollaback Girl” & “My Humps”.

    Seriously I can’t fucking stand that guy, and I’ve liked maybe 4 neptunes beats, so fuck Chad Hugo too.

    Wouldn’t it be great if The Roots went like quadruple platinum? The dick-rider rap set would all take instrument lessons.

  • Unfaded Disciple

    I burn the pharrell album “In My Mind”, and it wasn’t God-awful bad, but it was pretty good (In Pharrell Lyrical Standards), but the beats on the album make up for it.

    The track with Gwen Stefani wasn’t the best track IMO. “How Does It Feel”, “That Girl”, also the bonus track were all better than the first track.

    I didn’t like pharrell singing either but the beats somewhat made up for that.

    Not the worst album but ti sho wasn’t the best.

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u a faggit ass nigga, bol

    u even more of a faggit than rey and pharrel

  • Rey

    Hmm…but am I before or after Pharrell?

    Cuz, you know, #3 isn’t so bad..

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u before pharrel, kid

    u a chad hugo sidekick type faggit

  • Rey

    Hmm, so like, I’d the “Robin” to Pharrell’s “Batman” then. Interesting.

    Mr. Transient, you amuse me. To answer your subtle question: No, I’m not gay, but I am flattered. I’m sure you’ll meet a nice man one day. Til then, I’m sure there are enough pictures of 50 Cent all greased up to get you through those “lonely” nights.

    Have a great day!

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    50 cent look like even more of a weasel faced faggit than bol

  • Rey

    lol @ “weasel faced faggot”

  • DGthegreat

    At first listen (which we know can be deceiving) that Pharrell album isn’t THAT bad. I must admit, lyrically Pharrell is NEVER to be taken serious! Besides that, I thought the whole half R&B, half Hip-Hop idea would mean death (think Sweat/Suit), In My Mind could have been worse…

  • nOva

    Ok, so the Pharrell and BCC joints are bad, but you never explicitly say why. While we’re happy that you have an opinion on just about everything, it’d help if you could offer some greater insight as to why something sucks. Just for laughs, of course.

  • ?uestlove

    Oh a contrary review by Mr Crawford. How surprising and original.


  • DocZeus

    Bol, are you gonna review the Pimp C album? The world needs to hear this. Its your chance to finally get back at Bun B.

  • Tyler Durden

    You just say shit just to get a rise bol…9th wonder is one of the best producers out….Maybe u and Grand Puba and Lord Jamal can get him to produce some tracks for your Brand Nubian reunion album, u fake ass Sadat shit and die

  • Marcus Garvey Jr.

    Come to think about it…bol does look like sadat x…

    click here to see:

  • Sucker Free

    > Wouldn’t it be great if The Roots went like quadruple platinum?


    this is my prayer.

  • Lady Lukk

    LMAO!!!!!! ^^^Come to think about it…bol does look like sadat x…^^^

    Damn he sure does!!!

  • Rey

    Dude, seriously? I don’t really check for the roots like that, but I dig ‘em okay, and I think it’d be f’n fantastic if they did old Boy Band numbers. I’m telling you, Juelz & Jeezy would run–runrunrunrunrun–to the nearest guitar center and start buying instruments.

    Then Jermaine Dupri would do it 6 months later and pretend his idea was original.

  • Lady Lukk


  • Styles

    In My Mind is going to be shit, I haven’t heard it, but I ‘ve heard that Can I Have it Like That bullshit. Somebody needs to tell his ass he can’t rap, he’s worse at rapping than he is at singing.

  • Jo Van Gogh

    Hmm…I wonder how many people are going to take bol’s word as bond and not cop those albums…

    me..I’m still copping that roots jawn…and that pharell album will be downloaded…I mean…did we expect Skateboard P to reinvent the game or sum’n ?

  • gees dat dude

    everybodies favorite rapper is on cruise control all of em nobody makin good music any more. niggas just cant find they niche nobody. niggas need to be like Common and stop tryin to make these fucking formula records and just make records. why the fuck do we need a club banger from the roots. And lets be real nobody was go really buy the boot camps shit any way nobody bought that shit in 95 and wasnt nobody go buy that shit now. and that bullshit pharrell and kanye call a song is just……

  • Sucker Free

    check it…i’m five seven, caramel complexion with a body like heaven.

    definitely not a dude.

    i never cop the roots bootleg…ya feel me? i want their numbers to shine, they deserve multiplatinum success.

  • I Fux

    @ rey

    didnt the neptunes produce the majority of Clipse only album those beats pretty much thumped if you ask me, Pharrell doesnt suck that much untill you see people trying to be him rocking bape or whatever, bapestas suck dick wack ass shoes

  • BlackBoy

    …did Bol just get ethered by ?uestlove?

    Does that vague response count?

  • I Fux

    I luv Black Thought that nigga can rhyme thats why Big Pun had him on that song Super Lyrical as opposed to anyone else, I heard Pharoahe Monche is working on the new Puffy album i.e. ghostwriting for that bitch. Anyways listen to the Internal Affairs album truly a slept on album by a beast of lyricist. Anyways I hate ?uestlove why does that nigga always talk for the group like he is the leader and shit, I bet Black Thought has a whole album’s worth of material just rhyming about crack and the cocaina, let that nigga Black breathe some creativity into Y’all projects

    By the way did anyone ever see a movie were Black Thought has dreads and he is a black jew dating this white jewish chick ….

  • Rey

    Sucker Free–My apologies.

    I Fux–I liked the beats for “Grindin’” and that other one that goes “’s a new day”, but mostly cuz they didn’t sound anything like neptunes beats. In case you’re wondering, the other 2 beats I liked from them were “Excuse Me Miss” and “Just wanna love you (give it to me)”.

    Blackboy–That should definitely count as an ethering.

  • B-EZ

    I’m a Roots fan, but the 3 joints I’ve heard are, how should i put it…underwhelming (to say the least).Of course In my Mind sucks, if it didnt it woulda come out when it was supposed to.Record labels dont just sit on millions of revenue, they sit on millions of LOST revenue.That Buckshot/9th album was horrible, i dont give a shit what nobody says;its like hip hop elevator music.And i actually bought it, so in turn i refuse to listen to the new BCC joint just off of principle.

  • Belize

    yup yup

  • faek_one

    >Anything (even the death rattle of your first born) would sound good compared to In My Mind

    Word to David Cross.

  • Meka Soul

    “in my mind” sucks candy paint balls. i can’t even listen to my [insert filesharing site here] version past the 2 minute mark of the first debacle of a song.

    i was more gassed up for “the last stand,” only to be severely disappointed. aside from the said pete rock & large professor tracks, everything else gets the fast-foward button in my iFraud.

    i refuse to even steal “game theory.” if ?uestlove gave me a free copy, i’d ask him to trade me for a copy of “things fall apart.”

  • Meka Soul

    by the way, rey & transient sound like 2 wounded lovers fighting over bol’s quasi-racist, pseudo-ignorant affections.

    it makes for good reading, however.

  • Dr. Colossus

    In My Mind was mediocre. The only thing that will be worse is (Cool &)Dre’s record. He suck balls big time. At least Pharrell makes the intrumental interesting.

  • UnFaded Disciple

    “In My Mimd” wasn’t THAT bad, shit…

    But Roots should go multiplatinum and so should Lupe Fiasco “Food & Liquor”

  • Rey

    lol.. Touche, Mr. Soul.

  • 21sick

    fuck a rap critic!!!!

  • 160jordansdeep

    Wow this guy dont fuck around.If he dont like the album.Money will tell you stright up.Atleast hes not kissing anyone’s ass.I would like to know whAt he thinks are the 3 best albums this year so far.Because there has been alot shit released this year.

  • Face Phoenix

    I Like Pharrell to a Certain Degree but after Two LAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMME ASS N.E.R.D. Projects and all these reviews (And Pharrell’s Wack Ass 2nd single With Kanye) don’t seem to make the chances of his album being any better. As for the Roots it’s always give and take. The BCC I can’t judge since I haven’t purchased a project featuring any BCC Member since Game Over I & II and “Rising To The Top” with Agallah and Sean Price. Overall I’m Still Going to buy The Roots Album even if it may only have a GEM of TWO.

    PS – Is It Me or are The Neptunes highly overrated?

  • Dante

    What about Obie Trice’s Second Round’s On Me?

  • brown125

    Since when does admitting your hater make it any better.

  • \sjios\deio\shnd

    u moan every fukin article u gay prik bol

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u still a faggit ass nigga bol

  • RMoreno

    46th!!!! Does Bol even like rap music? This fuckin punk criticizes every album, every artist. I’ve never seen him write something positive or complimented something good in hip-hop. he just types negative shit!

  • Tyler

    Man, I hate 2 admit it but I was lookin’ forward 2 at the least peepin’ the beats on Skateboard Phead’s album “I couldn’t think of a better Title” yea’ dig but now fuck ‘dat man. . I mean I give the dude points for atleast tryin’ 2 be different but even ‘dat shit is starting 2 wear off with Phead but wit the other 2 records, who in the fuck gives a fuck about either one of them man? Why did’n't U get at the Game album? What U scared he gonna come 2 strip in your hood or something’? . . There are other joints niggas would like 2 know if they are worth a look, a buck or not but thanks 4 tryin’ dawg. Peep the heat at:

  • pop a poppa

    so are any of you followin’ ass bitches not gonna get the music that you were lookin’ forward to just cuz latrell sprewell’s more insane brother (bol) said so???

  • bama


  • Cuban Link

    is their anyone u dont hate on?

  • True Blood

    had to comment and say that I really like the design on your site here. Did you create this theme yourself or did you purchase it from someone?

  • marketing forum

    I love your website! did you create this yourself or did you outsource it? Im looking for a blog design thats similar so thats the only reason I’m asking. Either way keep up the nice work I was impressed :)

  • blackhat forum

    I love your website! did you create this yourself or did you outsource it? Im looking for a blog design thats similar so thats the only reason I’m asking. Either way keep up the nice work I was impressed :)

  • Thelma Jamili

    It is remarkable, very valuable message

  • rolex Seadweller

    I’m glad we agree about this. I understand every afternoon and just stopping by to say kudos!!

  • Dorla Duffy

    Nice article. Thank you for this info Your site is very useful for me .I bookmarked your site!

  • maggie sottero italia

    I’m glad we agree about this. I understand every afternoon and just stopping by to say kudos!!

  • UGG New Arrivals

    Hi, it’s nice here so I am just saying hi. I’ve been watching website for a moment now and decided to register. Hope that my english will be good enough to communicate with you

  • eden bridal shop

    I never thought of it that way, well put!

  • Gary Brackett Jersey

    Thanks be given to you exchange for creating valuable information round the issue.