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REVIEW: Crooked I presents The Block Obama: A Mixtape for The Streets

Words by The Infamous Omar

I’m still trying to figure out how of all the MC’s in hip-hop does the one who’s been in the game for years and has had little to no influence on the mainstream game decide to dub himself the Block Obama?

Would that make Bubba Sparxxx the Community’s McCain? Lady Sovereign the Public’s Palin? I’m not knocking any of these fools, I’m just saying.

These the peeps that were supposed to change the game only to find themselves Tara Reid’d (Not relevant). It’s like asking who has more power: Miss America or Miss USA? Ok, that made no sense, but y’all know what I mean.

Crooked I’s fall to obscurity wasn’t his fault. At the time that Tha Row was plotting it’s big comeback, the industry became the 2008 MLB and straight Barry Bonds’d Suge Knight and all his artists (I heard Eastwood is selling socks on Crenshaw. 6 pairs for $3.). Wasn’t no one trying to do business with Suge. Hence the fall of The Row and Crooked I.

A few years later Crook got his walking papers and has since been grinding making mixtape joints and appearing on street DVD’s.

Now we have The Block Obama.

If I give him props for anything, it’s that he ain’t using the T-Pain machine to help him get radio spins (I swear to God I think Kanye uses that thing even when he takes a sh*t. How else do you explain “Heartless”?).

While most rappers love to say “I ain’t your average rapper,” I’d have to say that Crooked is just that: an average rapper. Just embrace it. Just like Spiderman calls himself “Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman,” Crook could be “Your neighborhood average gangsta rapper.” Not to say that dude is wack, cause he ain’t by any means, but he doesn’t bring anything new to a game that’s just about seen and been through it all.

He has an average flow, rhymes and lyrics. Well, maybe above average. ‘Cause if you give him the right beat he can hold his own with the best of them.

But that also turned out to be the problem. Not enough beats on this mixtape were good enough for son to showcase what he can do. He ended up playing catch-up on joints like “Freak,” “New West Baby,” and “What’s Hip Hop?.”

On the flipside, joints like “Rappers Ain’t Shit,” “Stronger,” and “Hood Politics” Crook was getting it in on them f*ckers.

On “Lift Em Up” my nucca was got amped on the street thumping beat and spit, “Don’t get it twisted ’cause I rap hustle/ gun lift you in the air like a pair of calf muscles/ live you a damn puzzle/ I mean in pieces–Jesus, you bringing brass knuckles to a shoot out / the silencer it got my mac muzzled / I’m past trouble for your dummy asses / tell your friend I’m selling tickets to hell that come with buddy passes… I take action I don’t talk / I’ll put a price on your legs, you step to me and you won’t walk…”

Simple yet to the point gangsta lyrics.

Sad as I am to say it, there were more weak joints on this joint than strong ones. Son can make a joint bang like Lindsay Lohan on Perico, but he needs a dope track to ride. And TBO just didn’t have enough tight production. A lot of the beats sounded one dimensional and hollow at times. Sort of like John McCain during the debates.

Now I like homie, but if this man wants to make a difference in the game and outright earn the moniker Block Obama, then he needs to start with change. As in change your muthafuckin’ producers.

Hottest Joint: “Rappers Ain’t Shit”

Weakest Joint: “Freak [NC-17]”

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