Don’t Quit Your Day Job!
It’s been 10 years since Consequence’s entry into the game on A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes and Life. Possessing a complex flow and witty lyricism, Q-Tip’s cousin had a promising future ahead of him, but his career prospects abruptly faded once Tribe disbanded in ’98. Fast-forward six years, and Cons received a lifeline courtesy of Kanye West, who welcomed the Queens native into his Grammy family. After appearing on the Louis Vuitton Don’s projects, Cons is back for the first time with his long-awaited debut, Don’t Quit Your Day Job!
Following an autobiographical blueprint, “Da Job Song” candidly documents Consequence’s nine-to-five grind between deals, over producer Kool Aid’s lush conga drums and whistles. Con maintains his humility throughout—the introspective “Who Knew?” featuring Tony Williams’ soothing vocals, finds him looking to put the past behind him (“I used to have to stay in this clubbed basement/Now I’m getting calls for product placement/They say that song ‘Spaceship’ gave my career a face-lift/Now I’m on the comeback trail to make a statement”).
Always a capable wordsmith, Mr. Cons-to-the-Quence succeeds with vivid tales, like his Harlem booty-huntin’ romp “Uptown” and the family-feudin’ “Uncle Rahiem.” His weakness lies in the recycled gems. The Kanye-produced “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly” first resonated on mixtapes nearly four years ago, and “Night Night” appeared on the soundtrack for EA Sports’ Fight Night Round 3. Even the lead single, “Grammy Family,” premiered earlier this year on DJ Khaled’s debut disc.
After a lifetime in the making, Don’t Quit Your Day Job! should be a collection of fresh material that finally lets its orator get his solo shine. Instead, Cons offers up a stunted track listing, even taking a backseat to John Legend on the tender “Feel This Way,” which features more of the singer’s harmony and raps than the alleged headliner. That’s not to say that Consequence doesn’t make good music—he just didn’t craft enough great music. —THOMAS A. HARDEN
Read the rest of XXL’s Critical Beatdown review section in the
December 2006 issue (#87)