This isn’t even hip-hop

If ever there was a time to just say, “Man, fuck this hip-hop shit, I’m about to get into indie rock,” certainly this year would be it. There’s hardly been a worse time for the genre, both artistically and commercially.

Meanwhile, indie rock seems to be on a pretty ridonkulous upswing. We’re only something like six weeks into the year, but already there have been new albums by the likes of the Shins, Bloc Party, the Arcade Fire, and Modest Mouse. A few of them have even been that good.

It’s almost as if the heads of several minor record labels all got together at the end of last year and collectively decided to frontload 2007 with great (and in some cases kinda meh) new music, for the sole purpose of renewing Bol’s faith in the power of rawk.

I’m not saying this is what was going through RJD2′s mind when he decided to ditch Def Jux and put out his new album The Third Hand on XL Recordings. I’m just saying. Indeed it’s too bad this new album apparently just wouldn’t work on Def Jux.

As Def Jux label chief El-P himself put it:

At first, it was like, “Oh, shit. No, man. We don’t want to lose you.” But at the end of the day, I respect these dudes. And I respect RJ, because he was like, “I just don’t think you guys are the label for this.” And I was like, “Fuck you. Of course we’re the label for this.” And then he played me the music, and I was like, “Oh, right. We’re not the label for this.”

So what is this new RJD2 album like, anyway? After all, 2004′s Since We Last Spoke, with its soft rock textures, was already straying from what could typically be referred to as the Def Jux sound. And the new album by El-P himself, which I got in the mail the other day, has got all types of crazy shit on it, including guest appearances by everyone from Trent Reznor to Cat Power.

As it turns out, the key difference between The Third Hand and anything else RJD2 has done to date is that the guy is singing all over it, as if he was Sufjan Stevens or somebody. The only problem is, he most certainly isn’t. How in the world this seemed like a good idea to anyone other than himself is beyond me.

Which is not to say that the guy’s singing is so bad that this isn’t kinda enjoyable, because it is. Kinda. At the very least, he seems adept at playing to his admittedly rather limited strengths, in the sense that he doesn’t attempt anything particularly difficult. At least not vocally. And some of the beats are pretty killer.

If anything, the fact that this works as well as it does speaks to his ability as a producer. You just wish he’d find a worthier project than himself.

///

You can stream a few tracks from The Third Hand at RJD2′s MySpace profile.

  • weezybaby

    first or second considering i cant see my post until hours later.

    hip hop is boring right now, im banging (no Bol) the fall out boy!

  • Fredia

    First?

  • Fuck Bol

    Fuk this hatin bitch ass nigga BOL. He a straight faggot. His head is tilted from taking it in the Ear so much. That fucker looks like the gayyer nerdier version of Rick Ross. And 1st Bitches!!!

  • Fuck Bol

    I love Titties and Ecstacy

  • rajjan

    why dont you like white people bol?

  • Hannah Smith

    Once again, the only blogger worth reading on here!

  • http://myspace.com/twerkolator twerkolator

    *waits for shouts from the peanut gallery that XXL is a hip-hop site*

  • http://xxlmag.com mdotem.

    first??..’that fuck is this shit???????
    boring crap.

  • >>>>>>>>>ROC

    BOL shut the fuck up……..

  • NickeNitro

    I listened to RJD2′s new album and found a lot of it to be pretty lifeless, like someone neutered his funk or something. It reminded me of Caribou, which has got to be the most boring, characterless group ever. On the other hand, I heard the bootleg of El-P’s new album, and that’s straight fire.

    “Indie rock” is a big misnomer — it’s really called college rock. Most “indie” rock labels are really subdivisions of the major labels, but the majors just don’t put their logos on it so it appeals to the pseudo-rebel demographic. The money trail tells the real story (like Vagrant is really Interscope). College rock is as corporate as any other post-70s rock music. If I need to hear it, I can go shop at Gap or Apple, and if I’m lucky they’ll even be playing a techno remix version.

  • Tag

    Bol I really don’t care about the RJD2 album. But it’s you blog so you do with it whatever you want ( It’s great for people who can’t sleep at night. They’ll be snoring on there keyboard in now time after reading the first couple of lines of this story ) It hasn’t been much the these first few weeks of 2007 for hiphop but the year’s gonna be good. Think of new Busta album ( hope he don’t fuck up this time ( this goes for new LL Cool J album to ) ) Two redman albums, lil wayen, t.i. ( one of the few decent rappers from the sout ) Dretox is comin. So it won’t be that bad for 2007.

  • Were Read 2 Def

    What the fuck is this??

  • BRLETSGETIT

    lol bol is such a fucking faggit! what a clown. he knows nothing about hip hop! ill never forget when he tried to clown on jeezy for saying the hammer wasnt his! ur a faggit! shut up! we hate you!

  • screech dog

    fuck you

  • TonyStarks

    :|

  • My Effin’ Opinion

    RJD2 has some weird sounding instrumentals …

  • Eman

    I cant stand rjd2 I mean his beats are fucked up

  • http://www.myspace.com/16kingz da’realestwritin’

    rap damnit!, hip-hop nigga!, hell I’ll take articles on crunk’n B for godsake jus stop postin dumb shit about music that we don’t give a damn about!!

  • Dr Flav

    I mean isnt XXL a hip hop site? This is not Spin, Blender or Rolling Stone. I read this blog almost daily, but the past few posts with their Starbucks, Clove smokin, Jager bomb content are making my head hurt. Then you got the monkey see, monkey do bloggers trying to copy, this shit turnin to Bonaroo in this bitch.

  • http://dahshyt.blogspot.com Belize

    What dah fuk..this aint hip-hop?

    *quik plug*:
    dahshyt.blogspot.com

  • EReal

    WTF!?!? THIS IS XXLMAG! WE DONT TALK ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT HOW LIL SNITCHEEZY F(UCKS) BABY, ‘CAN I PLEASE TELL ON EM BABY?’ IS THE BEST MC ALIVE!! GET ON YOUR JOB, JABBAH TEH BOL!! YOU SUCK!(NO GETTIN JUMPED BY LIL CEASE)
    LMFAO!!!!!!!

    Had to do it.

    1 hunned.

  • rblack501

    This is kinda wack, step your blog game back up. With something that people want to read

  • http://brandonsoderberg.blogspot.com brandonsoderberg

    I don’t get the recent love for indie/college rock because the same goons who call hip hop dead because it is derivative listen to bands like the Shins or Bloc Party who are just as, if not more derivative than modern rap music. Bol, have you ever heard of the Beach Boys or even Belle & Sebastian? Delete your Bloc Party mp3 or toss out that album and go get Wire, Joy Division, Gang Of Four, etc etc.

    As for Modest Mouse…if you really enjoy the new album then I would question your music taste. ‘This Is A Long Drive…’, ‘Lonesome Crowded West’, and ‘Moon & Antarctica’ are sick but their recent stuff is pretty embarrassing. It would be like buying recent Public Enemy albums and being like, “man this stuff is good…”

  • Moe Real

    Bolllin’

  • LONZO

    Rjd2??? Is that the dude from Jackass back wen it was a series on mtv? I vaguely remember being high, and readin his name at the bottom of the t.v. screen, while he rode a lil red wagon.

  • projectnrm

    For everyone who’s mad that Bol has not been doing a lot of hip hop articles lately, here’s a quick refresher to let you know what’s going on:

    1. All of Def Jam’s major releases have dropped. They woon’t be doing anything notable for awhile.

    2. Things at Shady/Aftermath look kind of weird. Em’s life is a mess, Detox is still nowhere to be found, and Buck keeps getting pushed back. Its so bad that…

    3. 50 manufactured beef with Cam’ron to keep G-Unit’s name on people’s lips.

    4. Hip hop hates the Grammys

    5. White people love Ludacris

    6. T.I. is now the biggest rapper in the game. And rightfully so.

    Alright, you should be up to speed now. I”m going back to listen to Neon Bible (google it).

  • EReal

    Belle & Sebastian?
    ^
    Homo Music.

  • Tyler

    Yea’ dawg those people ‘dat are doin’ that music U just took minutes out of our lives 2 speak on must be payin’ you Bol cause their shit is straight garbage and ‘dats coming from a real street Rock&Roll head bro’. Everything U just spoke on sucks man. At least U should be talking about Trent Reznor and the crazy sick marketing plan ‘dat he’s got going wit’ his new album Year Zero or the UrbanRock heat ‘dat U seem 2 be sleepin at the wheel on bro’. U crashed and wrecked with this post bro, better luck next time.
    The sickest heat in tha’ streets.

    http://www.myspace.com/marcusorealiusmusic
    http://www.myspace.com/marcmaysrockandrollthug

  • Avenger

    brandonsodenberg that was an excellent point. Bol that ish you call rock you are listening too is nothing but pop designed for high school girls.

    You Must Learn

  • ill will

    For you dumbasses, RJD2 is Hip Hop, so why don’t you mutherfuckers broaden your horizons and stop looking for the same old Top 10 Fill in the Blank, Rapper vs Rapper beefs, and what have you….

  • Dipset

    da’realestwritin’ Says:

    February 19th, 2007 at 11:28 am
    rap damnit!, hip-hop nigga!, hell I’ll take articles on crunk’n B for godsake jus stop postin dumb shit about music that we don’t give a damn about!!

    ^^^^^
    Co sign… wtf are u talkin bout nigga?? yo XXL I think this nigga usin yall as a website to talk bout w/e the fuck he decides to talk bout!! THIS IS A HIP-HOP WEBSITE!! i dont even know wat indie rock is u fuck face!!!

  • thoreauly77

    bol, i demand you listen to only ONE kind of music, ever!

  • derfla the hus’la

    I knew there where plenty of fags in this site RJD2 get the f outer here first with your rage blog and now this bullshit…..indie rock??? wtf is wrong with this mofo’s, niggas turning into mad fags strait up.

    I understand bol that you grew up a fag listening to faggoty music like indie rock and hard rock but this is a hiphop site lets stick to the script

    don’t come with that broaden your horizon shit coz if I was interested in that indie bullshit I would google it……..maybe you should broaden your horizons bol and start listening to reggae you fat fag.

  • Tag

    EReal Says:

    February 19th, 2007 at 11:54 am
    WTF!?!? THIS IS XXLMAG! WE DONT TALK ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT HOW LIL SNITCHEEZY F(UCKS) BABY, ‘CAN I PLEASE TELL ON EM BABY?’ IS THE BEST MC ALIVE!! GET ON YOUR JOB, JABBAH TEH BOL!! YOU SUCK!(NO GETTIN JUMPED BY LIL CEASE)
    LMFAO!!!!!!!

    Had to do it.

    1 hunned.

    Alright son, for the record it, that bullshit of weezy snitchin is all based on accusations without any proof by mr. Sunday. I can tell you have a very short vision because you imidiatly believe it all and even took it to this post of Bol. I FUCKED YOUR SISTER!!. You believe that right away to?? Hmm I gues you do cause everybody get’s a go at her right? Hahahaha

  • Bang

    so execs get to fuck up hip hop commercially so they can put out rock and that’s what’s good? fuck that

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    I dislike RJD2′s music but whatever….

    Bol don’t you know that the majority of the people that read this site lack any reading comprehension skills and are generally retarded. Next time just mention Lil’ Wayne a few times for no apparent reason and people won’t complain.

  • randomname

    Has RJD2 really strayed that far this time ? Singing ?

    Doesn’t Dan the automator have a new album droppin ?

  • Keystone

    Watz goin on here. Indie Rock?? U gotta be kiddin.
    just write SOMETHING about HIP HOP PLEASE. u keep making articles BUT THEY’RE ALL ABOUT BULLSHIT.
    I, AND ABOUT 94 PERCENT OF PEOPLE ON THIS WEBSITE DOESN’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT INDIE ROCK.

    Ya Dig?

  • http://www.myspace.com/friscorepresenter anthony

    If u jus listen 2 hiphop then u need 2 open ur mind up kuz its hella good music out there thats not considered hiphop!!! I love hiphop 2 death but i also listen 2 other shit feel me?

    anybody up on that gym class heroes?

  • EReal

    Tag Says:

    February 19th, 2007 at 1:58 pm
    EReal Says:

    February 19th, 2007 at 11:54 am
    WTF!?!? THIS IS XXLMAG! WE DONT TALK ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT HOW LIL SNITCHEEZY F(UCKS) BABY, ‘CAN I PLEASE TELL ON EM BABY?’ IS THE BEST MC ALIVE!! GET ON YOUR JOB, JABBAH TEH BOL!! YOU SUCK!(NO GETTIN JUMPED BY LIL CEASE)
    LMFAO!!!!!!!

    Had to do it.

    1 hunned.

    Alright son, for the record it, that bullshit of weezy snitchin is all based on accusations without any proof by mr. Sunday. I can tell you have a very short vision because you imidiatly believe it all and even took it to this post of Bol. I FUCKED YOUR SISTER!!. You believe that right away to?? Hmm I gues you do cause everybody get’s a go at her right? Hahahaha
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Uh, it was a joke maybe you were too short sighted to see that, lil homie.
    Besides, how could you fuck my sister when you’re busy suckin on Weezy’s dick all day, homo internets thug?

  • http://dahshyt.blogspot.com Belize

    ^lmao…SMH

  • crimerate

    Anyone doubting Rj’s hip hop cred just needs to check the beats he did for Mhz crew[Jakki, Camu Tao, Copywrite...Anyone?], as well as his solo joints Deadringer and The Horror. This post is about a hip hop artists departure from hip hop, and how current rap is so weak that this new sound is starting to eclipse it.

    If all you can tell me about Ohio hip hop has to do with Bone and or Ray Cash, fall back, you ain’t know shit about shit.

  • amedawg00

    speaking of indie rock..anyone got spare coachella tix to sell?

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u a faggit ass nigga bol

  • Avenger

    RJD2 is trying to cross over and get that coffee shop crowd. He running out of rent money respect is good but it don’t pay the rent. Since intellegent albums of all kind sale like aids is on them, then what do you think they are going to do.

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    Where you been @ Transi?(no barkley)

  • TheGeneral

    Fucking fat ass

  • Adam K

    smh at indie rock on major labels.

  • john cochran

    Please stop fam. It’s not cool no more. Either write about Hip hop or go write for blender or some shit. No one cares about the music you listen to while you watch your child pornography in the basement.

  • http://xxlmag.com robin_tha_hood

    i love this site, so much funny things u have to say to each other

    :D

  • outda954

    This nigga ain’t black. :-|

  • Dipset

    Keystone Says:

    February 19th, 2007 at 2:45 pm
    Watz goin on here. Indie Rock?? U gotta be kiddin.
    just write SOMETHING about HIP HOP PLEASE. u keep making articles BUT THEY’RE ALL ABOUT BULLSHIT.
    I, AND ABOUT 94 PERCENT OF PEOPLE ON THIS WEBSITE DOESN’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT INDIE ROCK.

    Ya Dig?

    ^^^^
    I dig nigga

  • ill will

    we fly high we rockiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  • pileofshirt69

    Bol,

    Just appease the masses with what they really want.

    By that, I mean I want you to do ONE post on the cutting edge alternative polka scene and call it “Bol’ka.”

    Funny how most of these idiots (Der’fla isn’t a real hus’la, BTW) still expect you to write only about “hiphop” after half your blogs are about MTV reality shows.

    Bol caters to Bol.

  • Looms

    If I wanted to hear The Postal Service then I would listen to The Postal Service.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for artistic growth, But this shit just sounds like paint-by-numbers generic indie rock that would sound great as background music on “The Hills”. (and i listen to a LOT of indie rock). It sounds more like RJ saw the sucess of the Garden State soundtrack and noticed that his fan base consisted of college dormies and pandered to them. He also probably got inspired by the check that Volkswagon gave him for using his music in their commercials. I guess RJ played it a little too safe on the songs I heard. I DO expect a lot from the guy because I know he’s talented and is capable of doing far better work. This shit is like wallpaper to me. It just kind of exists in the background. I don’t hate it, but I don’t like it either; it’s just kind of boring & predictable.

  • http://xxlmag.com its 2 EZ

    im furious i jus read that sorry ass excuse of a blog…i dont even kno what ur talkin bout bol…..and i could give not half of a fuck either…hip hop please save that shit for ur own pathetic blog site nigga( bout to get yo nigga card revoked too doonie)

  • Boner Jams 03

    Bol, im startin to gain a lil more respect for u…u know good music homey…i always been a big rjd2 fan, but i do wish he got good emcees to flow over his trax…a la DJ Shadow or Nicolay, but i still love his shit

  • Boner Jams 03

    speakin of indie rock bol, you heard of these cats called the cold war kids? besides havin one of the best names in music history, they make some dope shit

  • krackz killaz

    fukcez whitez dem honkyez

  • indie rock is better than most rap

    i bet most of the people on this site are skinny white kids that wear XXL shirts and pants and call themselves gangsters while drivin around in their parent’s cars blasting mainstream hip hop.
    i also bet most kids that listen to emo music and goth music think they are being non conformist and living by their own rules when in reality they’re just following a less popular trend that everyone else sees for the crap that it is.
    thankyou for your time. let the hate begin.

  • indie rock is better than most rap

    and i listen to all music not just one genre. shuv that in ur pipe n smoke it.

  • neverender

    Cats gotta broaden their horizons. Besides the new RJD2 ish has a good hip hop edge. I’ll fuck wit it.

  • derfla the hus’la

    @ pileofSHIT69 hey dude better keep my name outer yah mouth you fag by the sound of your name you’re obviously a d-low brother so go seek attention from someone else…….

    by the way you did not make any sence in you comment and dude don’t make any reference on me as an idiot specially when you’ve got nothing to back up your statement with coz clearly you are the idiot… fagot

  • EReal

    robin_tha_hood Says:

    February 19th, 2007 at 6:49 pm
    i love this site, so much funny things u have to say to each other

    :D
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    LMFAO, Does anyone else see anything wrong here??

  • indie rock is better than most rap

    besides his name and the way he phrased that statement?

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  • listlesscomplacentwhatever

    “fag fag faggot faggot everyting but hiphop is faggot blah blah blah”

    there’s a lot of hopeless people givin their two cents here, but what they type amounts to less. RJ’s album is fucking good but it’s experimental (rock) so people hate on it. People hate everything they don’t know shit about – whatever. If you don’t learn about new shit YOU GET OLD FAST. Y’allready got one foot in the grave, suckers.

    By the way, people who hate gay men and women in 2007 are the same kind of people who hated black men and women in 1907. Think before you’re trash