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.