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Blue Collar

Rhymefest.jpgIt was Sprite’s old ad campaign that coined the phrase “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything.” Well, in the case of Rhymefest, his thirst for hip-hop immortality holds paramount over any “backpacker” label. Proving that you can’t judge a book by its cover, the Chi-Town native loads his debut LP, Blue Collar, with clever punch lines and oodles of personality that defy expectations.

Sticking to the ethos of the album’s title, ’Fest speaks on the everyday struggles of the common man throughout. Songs like the Emile-produced “All I Do” has him breaking down his troubled upbringing in poverty before emphatically stating, “I don’t care about a deal/I’ve been poor all my life.” Similarly, “Devil’s Pie” finds Mr. Blue Collar admitting, “I know I’m ahead of my time, but behind on my rent” over Mark Ronson’s chopped guitar-riff sample of the Strokes’ “Someday.”

Witty off-cuff wordplay aside, Rhymefest also possesses a wicked pen game. On the Cool & Dre—and Ronson-produced “All Girls Cheat,” he weaves a heart-wrenching story of betrayal, while singer Mario does his best Isley Brothers impersonation. And the introspective “Bullet” vividly details everything from the thoughts of a soldier in Iraq to a high school harlot gettin’ burned.

The tipping point, however, comes when ’Fest unsuccessfully delves into commercial fodder like the Latin-flavored “Fever” and the Kanye West–featured single “Brand New.” Although sonically sound, the clubcentric content clashes with his overall poor man’s blues theme. These digressions can easily be overlooked, as the rest of the album is filled with gems like the Just Blaze–fueled thumper “Dynomite (Going Postal)” and the aspirational “More,” where ’Fest admits, “It’s hard to get respect when you’re less than thug.” With Blue Collar, Rhymefest sidesteps thug life for real life and proves that image is nothing when it comes to making good music.—SEAN A. MALCOLM

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  • Black LONDON (With Half Nigerian Blood) Supporting Ghana in the World Cup

    This is gonna be heavy, but ‘Fest can sound really boring after listening to him for a while.

    But for me LP is JUST a prelude to Lupe Fiasco’s debut (whenever that comes out).

  • DBZ

    Rhymefest is a better version of Common. Common is overrated. He should be a garbage man. Rhymefest is good. So is Kanye.

    • iregullar

      i used to love her beats anything kanye west put out
      and common is a hip hop legend while kanye west is more pop than hip hop

  • A\\V

    Fuck you “DBZ”. (whatever the fuck that means) Kanye is a pussy. All he fucking cares about is himself. He doesn’t care about hip-hop. If he really cared about hip-hop he would shut his ass up. So what if he had to pack his shit up in a U-HUAL van. No one cares, people get evicted all the fucking time. Who cares if he dropped out of college. That just means he wasn’t man enough to handle it. Just another pussy spending mommy’s money because he couldn’t handle the presure. Kanye is a fucking pop artist. All he does is take old Aretha Franklin beats and adds a different bassline or a hand clap or two. Common is on a lyrical level than any other MC. Not my favorite rapper but I’ll give him his props. You all want a good producer on the rise..? Needlez. He goes to college and makes music for the top rappers. If you don’t who i’m talking about, then you don’t shit about hip-hop. I love hip-hip but I’m tired of seeing it getting abused by fake bitches. Its time that the real MCs (not hustlers) get their props.One….

    @v music coming soon..

  • Black LONDON (With Half Nigerian Blood) Supporting Ghana in the World Cup

    >> Rhymefest is a better version of Common. Common is overrated. He should be a garbage man. Rhymefest is good. So is Kanye.>>

    Wot u been smokin’?

  • chet

    rhymefest is gonna change the hip hop game as we know it so……………BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!

  • chad

    rhymefest album is for sure gonna be a motherf$%#@@ CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!

  • Maxxx P.

    I’ve heard the ENTIRE Blue Collar Album time and time again and I can say it’s DEFINITELY a clasic!!! Not just great lyrics and beats but GREAT SONGS….this album has great depth and meaning and ANYONE who appreciates Hip Hop will no doubt love this album…. JULY 11th is the DATE!!!!

  • duvalrepresenta

    this cd is garbage to me.i heard it and wasnt feelin it.ima go back and listen it again.if i dont like it im coming back and talkin so much shit to all yall

  • http://www.myspace.com/lupefiasco 2chéLupe

    Rhymefest is the greatest rectangle head rapper of all time

  • V-Man

    damn straight DBZ(that better not be refering to the faggot japanese cartoon!) common is trash, westside connection should av destroyed him n dun uz all a favour. rhymest is great, but he got XL, nd cube got L, wat da fuk iz goin on, dont worry bout no other shit, git laugh now cry later, its fukin great

  • V-Man

    o, nd BLACK LONDON fuk tht soccer world cup shit, soccer iz fukin boring, how can ya watch dat shit, itz fukin gay?

  • oc

    the guy supporting Ghana in th world cup, no offence but is wired to no a half nigerian person supporting Ghana , im Ghanaian.

  • oc

    an by the way, kanye and rym are the shit

  • b

    maaaaaaaan, ALL OF U R TRIPPN!!! this is exactly whats wrong w hiphop now. everybody got a fukin opinion bout everything-and yall dont know shit really. i’m not ghandi either b4 u throw that one at me, BUT-i appreciate everything (w some exceptions) and i’m telln u now that COMMON, RHYMEFEST, YE, AND CUBE ARE ALL GONNA GO DOWN AS SOME OF THE GREATEST MUSICIANS EVAAAR!!! at least all of these so called “boring, wack, flashy artists who only care bout them selves” have something substantial to say-especially CUBE on that new album, dudez fuckn killn it!!! seriously tho, good music is all that matterz-i’d like to kno from those of u who like to thro out opinionz what YOU consider dope-HOLLA!!! p.e.a.c.e.

  • G D N


  • TATE

    That nigga rap with alot of saliva in his mouth.

  • SouthSide Main

    Wow, alot of hate comin out here, got damn…well first of all Kanye is forreal, ‘Fest is forreal, Common is mos def forreal and Lupe is forreal too. You idiots dont know what the hell you tlakin about, kanyes not good for hip/hop? what the fuck u listenin to man, get out with that shit… and for fest, hes just as sick man..fuck you guys man, Good Music up in this bitch, now quit playin

  • salman

    What the hell’s wrong with you hatas?
    Common, ‘fest, and lupe fit in the same mold. I can’t give Kanye much, although I like some of his music.

  • kanYeWest Fan

    Hey, G D N, do you want to say that to my face? You’ll be looking like a fag if you say that again.

  • kev

    cube fell the fuck off. his lyrics are very weak now. kanye is tight but is getting a little too comercial and of course common is sick as always. i need to listen to more of fest’ before i make an opinion. Stick and Fever sound very poppy while Brand New and Dynomite sound dope as hell…ill see wasup


    CHICAGO IL 60659


    All yall mothafuckas trippin, quit drinkin that haterade. for the dumb muthafucka who thought westside connection killed Common you aint heard common come back on that azz. Step up yo game before you come wit dat bullshit. Quit hatin and appreciate some good hip hop. Good Music representin… peace

  • Aaron

    Album is hot. Chicago MCs talk about other shit than sellin drugs and it probably costs them sales but I love them for it.

  • Australian

    ‘Fest Is Like Gnarls Barkley, Game Changin’. Sumthin Fresh & Brand New, None Of This Carbon Copy Bullshit

  • e

    rhymefest’s debut is one of the best recent albums in music the only negative is his generic name

  • HollyHood Izzle

    Fest album is dope, not the dope that the rest of these niggz rap about, but its good 2 hear about other issue other than when its time 2 re-up. Besides fever and stick u can let that shit ride, chi-town keep on puttin out music wit substance.

  • confuze

    what the f*ck. common is garbage. that shit is down right carzy. if anything common is under rated. i am a huge kanye fan but he thinks he is the greatest. personally i’m feelin fest more. i have 3 fest mixtapes and they r dope. there are about 4 songs they should have added to the album bout 2 get ugly ft anthony hamilton, these days, breakdance, and lsd ft carl thomas. but its still one of the most underrated cd’s to come out. i think blue collar is gonna be like illmatic (not a classic) but realised for its greatness later. and i think fest has wrote for kanye. cuz i have some fest freestyles and i have heard some similar shit from kanye. but listen to fest’s jesus walks verse. he says how he gave the song to kanye and his verse got tossed. and then gone on late registration. kanye gave the beat to fest and told him to record a verse. then kanye ended up throwin camron and consequence on it. with no rhymefest on it. i give fest mad respect 4 keepin kanye as a friend. cuz he screwed him twice. but if kanye doesnt do no more shit oh well. i think his purpose was to get spot light 4 real hiphop cats. examples common, mos def, talib kweli, rhymefest, lupe fiasco. what i mean since kanye came out everybody jumped on the real hiphop bandwagon. but so what thats a good thing we need 2 promote and support artists like this. not 50 cent, d4l and i could go on and on. but kanye deserves credit 4 not going at 50 cent, when 50 dissed him twice. he didnt respond. so he did fuel the beef wagon 50 cent needs to keep his career going.good 4 kanye. smart everybody ignore 50 like a zit and evetually he will vanish. sorry 4 gettin off topic. buthomie rethink your statement commin is overrated. come on now. thats like sayin dwanye wade isnt the main reason the heat r nba champs. peace confuze

  • allnice

    He has a few songs that are ok……but he too much on some neo, everyday man shit. Fuck that, I wish more niggaz would talk some real shit instead of that safe neo bullshit. This album is actually ok though, so its worth a listen.

  • Mrs.Jones

    One Hit Wonder!!

  • syrius

    fuck u A\\V. the nest big rapper is termanology from lawrence, MA. he workds wit Dj Preimier and Jay Z and Mobb Deep and G-Unit. and also, AWOL from weymouth is on the rise. so dont start throwin names out there wen u aint no shit bout the underground.

  • http://xxl.com ja rule

    That Aaron dude said it perfectly… Chi-Town emcees speak about meaningful topics and not guns, hoes or coke. Had rap started in the midwest, i think it would be much better than it actually is because Chi, Detroit and Cleveland didn’t gave birth to ignorant-ass n**gas who think it’s cool to be violent or disrespectful. Atlanta and NYC did, though.

  • Smiffy

    Look Here Right. Commono Is A Great MC but the beats that are bein put out on his albums arent that good. Alot of people listen for a beat and not lyrics. You could get someone like 50 chattin absolute shit on an amzing beat, while ppl like Common spittin real shit on pretty wack beats. Common needs more recognition i think. Anywayz, Fest’s debut is hot. Some tracks stick out more than others such as Dynomite, Fever, More, Bullet. In my opinion brand new wasn’t that much of a smart move i believe he will get seen more if he released more that sounds more like something ppl would listen to.

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  • Dawson

    Yo this album is hot. It does kind of get boring after a while, but the lyrics is nice. Pick this up or download it cause it’s right on.

  • Wiza

    It owns everything man, it should be an XXL, Clipse is nothing compared to these rhymes.

  • Ca$hin

    Ive heard this album the track with odb is dope

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