Man Up!

Honestly, I bullshit you not. I have never made any of my music buying selections based off an album cover. That’s not to say that covers have never influenced my decision at least a little bit. I mean, I have never been to a record store and just bought a CD because I thought the cover was dope. I’ve almost been fooled by a couple of indie artist mixtapes I’ve snatched up, but never with albums.

When I choose to spend my money on music, I’m usually a fan of the artist or what I heard on the album already. Same goes for the stuff I choose not to buy. A cover itself never just made me say “oh hell naw, I ain’t buying that shit.” If anything it just supports my already made decision not to buy it.

That being said, I heard a few voices of displeasure over the cover for Stic.Man of Dead Prez’s new solo album Manhood. People who were both die hard and fairweather fans of DPZ said they were turned off by the R&Bish looking cover. Me personally, I found nothing wrong with it. Dude just looked like he was relaxing. I’m not all the way sure if was trying to make a statement of anykind. If not for anything else, dead prez is known for bluntness. So I don’t imagine the cover being subliminal. It just looked like he was chilling. Sure, its very light compared to the cover of Let’s Get Free and not as straight forward as M-1′s solo cover, but damn, was it that bad to write the man’s album off as wack or soft? Was it that bad that folks didn’t bother to peep the tracklisting and see what the songs were gonna be about?

Anyways, I got the album. And like most DPZ projects, it didn’t disappoint. While it isn’t as militant or “controversial” as many would expect, this album still drives many points home. The highlight of this album is that it speaks on the same topics heard on most albums today, but in a grown way. A grown way that goes beyond simply throwing on a certain type of clothing and labeling one’s self “grown,” yet still rapping about elementary things.

In a time when the most instruction a rap album gives is how cook dope, bust a gun or do a dance, its refreshing to hear an album talking about stacking bread and supporting the family By (almost) Any Means Necessary.

He has the usual “hustler on the grind” swagger type themes on songs like “Do It Big,” which if you threw some more mundane lyrics on the beat, it would probably become a hit. But because its Stic and he isn’t referring to pimpin’ on a bitch or slanging dope, people probably will probably overstand the song. He adresses haters on “Get Yo Hustle” where he pretty much sums up his gift and curse when he says: “Let me show you how I’m on it, gangsta and concious, I ain’t scared to change, its the only thing constant,” and goes on to make an interesting point when he states “how can I call myself a Black power spokesman, with no plan and always broke man?”

Another dope thing about this album is that just like the other DPZ projects, they never present themselves as better than the next man. They come off as some regular cats. Especially on “That’s What Men Do?” when he probably tapped into almost every Black man’s mind when he said:

I ain’t no pimp I ain’t no player, I’m just true to myself/Why would I take from a woman what I can do for myself/I see the young homies thinking they grown, spitting their little game/Thinking that life is all about weed and a little chain/But fast forward 5 to 10 years and then it clicks/I’ve been hanging out wasting my time chasing these chicks/Now these chicks got apartments and jobs, pushing new cars/And we still borrowing change for cigars, can I holla at my dawgs?

This post is getting a little long so I’ll sum things up by saying, if Young Jeezy is the Thug Motivator, Stic.Man is the yin to that yang. He’s giving a people a good talking to on this album. He probably isn’t going to touch as many lives and ears as ‘Pac because he isn’t a household name and doesn’t have that rebellious energy that attracts cameras and attention. But he is damn close.

Plus, DPZ just like Public Enemy before them know how to make jammin’ ass music while injecting a message. Like Chris Rock said, I don’t hate concious music, I hate concious beats and Manhood has some tracks like “Traffic Jam” where you can just throw it on for sheer listening pleasure.

Seeing how intellegent hoodlums like Stic and Killer Mike are going out and securing their own independent situations, maybe we’ll start seeing and hearing more music like this, because it is most definately needed.

  • Danny

    This sounds like loser talk to me

    • keke

      did you even read the post?

      • Danny

        Yeah I did, but conscious rap is for gays… Ayo Technology, when I catch you I’ma whoop yo ass

  • boner jams 03

    i’ll check 4 it…i’m a big dead prez fan…remember lil cease’s gay ass album cover???i’m sure that turned a lot of people away from what was a really great album…

  • TMB

    Good looks — This album has gotten nearly zero press — I’m feelin this song.

  • theworldfamousbp

    Yeah i went out and found it at rasputins and I wasnt disapointed. Dude is spittin and the message is good.

  • Moniker

    It’s not bad, but it’s nothing compared to Dead Prez’s old shit. This is way to preachy for me. You can rap about different things than the mainstream without sounding like their dad.

  • mr.martin

    my man lookin like Al Green on that cover. I’ll cop tho. They the best and most consistent group since Outkast stopped their group output

  • nappy_pappy

    got dammit stop hatin!!! i swear i cant stand u little guys actin like bitches and hatin… why hate? cus he aint following what all other rappers are doing? cus he aint a follower like you (danny) fuckin hater eat a dick hip hop needs this so these little kids can grow up and stop actin like they part of the dipset crew with there xxxl white t’s on

    • Danny

      I don’t usually do this but
      (touches himself for luck)
      Common has been making conscious rap for years, and the world still hasn’t changed yet. Face it, conscious rappers are just wasting their lives away with their noses in the air. The world has and always will be ran by people like 50 Cent, who know how to get ahead without having silly morals. Good Day

      • Fire

        Danny probably just isn’t smart enough to understand the themes in conscious rap. Not saying that they all have the power to change the world, but if enough people unify things can change. It’s better than just advocating irresponsible living all the time and showing portraits of people whose lives may or may not end up anywhere due to the choices they make.

  • Zo

    Sounds like youngster Danny is ok with the world as it is. How do you expect us to improve as a people if there’s nothing but material items to look forward to in life? You said “Silly Morals”!!! Are you serious?! I really feel sorry for you dog! I hope you don’t have any children. People like you are the reason why these little wipper snappers have no respect for those that have been through it and are still going through it. Take a look at yourself and your people man. Money, Cars, & Hoes are seperating us as a people. We have no unity. We are on the wrong path man and you’ve just solidified that thought for me with you’re little statement there.. “Money Is The Root Of Evil”. Check yourself.

  • JAY STONE

    conscious rap is the shit.dead prez is the shit.FIRE you on point.
    DANNY go back to amusement park.

  • Danny

    I don’t usually participate in internet thugging like this but I must say I like the world the way it is. I know how to survive and succeed in this society unlike you bloggers. Everybody knows bloggers don’t have any social skills. Ask for my people(black people), if they aren’t smart enough to make money and not worry about the size of their rims and start worrying about the size of their bank account, its their problem. All of them old ass KRS One lookin niggas need to go take a nap of something. And I’m Through!!!
    (Fuckin Nerds)

  • Arcey

    none of that is thuggin’ lil’ homie!!! I bet you ain’t older than 14, never been outside of your hometown & since you posted 3 times, ask yourself who ain’t got no social skills.

    As for the cover…meh! But that nigga must be too old to worry ’bout what the fuck’ll be said about it. I’m not a fan but I value those guys who try to say positive shit because we’ve got lots of negativity going on in Hip-Hop, my thought is that it needs balance.

    Like it was said for a Jeezy we need a Stic.Man and for a BDP (post scott larock) we needed a NWA
    & so on…

  • Danny

    I Said Good Day!!! lol,

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    I used to live across the skreet from stic. Dude is pretty cool. He whips the Jeep Wrangler around the subdivision with the stereo on blast. Plus he pays no attention to the neighborhood speed limit. Revolutionary, but Gangsta.

    Besides that, you hit the nail on the head. That album cover is sus at best. But I guess I’ll check for it…
    *fingers crossed*

    See, I ain’t even so much mad at the suit, but damn, is that wallpaper really necessary? That shit looks extra.

    I can’t stop laughing when I scroll up. The title, close to his ball grip, kills it. “Manhood.” LOL…

    LOL…

    LOL…

    But for real, if I can get somebody to burn it for me, I’ll check it. If not, I’m a little uncomfortable.

    You can’t judge a CD by it’s cover, but you can’t expect your CD to be appreciated or to do good numbers rocking the Travolta suit with the orange cream background as we approach 2008. Something just ain’t right.

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    Dope ass song, though. Sounds like some DF.

    My question is did he wear the suit when he was in the booth.

    LOL