Wednesday, March 08, 2006

For the people: Nerd Rap reviews

For whatever reason, I used to get really excited by rap or hip hop or whatever it's called these days but now I find that damn near any album in said genre I listen to these days to be incredibly boring. Years of picking up marginal albums from once inspired artists tends to grate on the optimism of ol' chiseven where hip hop is concerned. I mean, why did I ever continue to buy Common albums after Ressurection? I could've saved myself alot of time and money and avoided enabling ol' Com to continue figuring out how to write another rhyme that incorporated himself "looking through his daughters eyes." Alas, I was enamored by nerd rap from '98-'04 mistakenly thinking that rhyme topics that addressed politics, social issues or internal critiques of "mainstream" rap were somehow more interesting than "the shit they play on the radio." In short, I was the typical white kid who got into underground hip hop after it was good and pretended that everyone else that didn't listen to an emcee discussing metaphysical constraints of the time-space continuum over keyboard drums and a jaco pastorius loop wasn't as enlightened to "good music" as I was. Of course, that's obviously bullshit and elitist but that's what listening to "nerd-rap" will do to you if you let it. As a disclaimer though, I have never liked anything by anyone associated with antipop, so I can't say that the "nerd-rap" genre totally influenced me...I mean, I do have standards.

Anyway, thanks to the internets file-sharing, CD burners and the buying habits of my local library I have been able to listen to large amounts of nerd-rap without actually rewarding the artists with monetary compensation. And this dedication to listening to marginal products has forced me to come to this conclusion: most underground nerd-rap sucks. To prove this, I have decided to review the aptly named artist P.O.S. (a rap name worse than Rhymefest or Lil' anything) and his album "Audition" on Rhymesayers Records, home of more nerd-rap from Minnesotans who really want to let you know about their emotional angst. Heeeeere we go:

Track One- Sounds like someone found the "koto" bank on their trusty keyboard. No rapping.
Track Two-He says "Fuck Bush" and then keeps ranting over flat-drums, noisy feedback and an open bass string being plucked rapidly. He says stuff about drinking milk and screams at me to "get up get up get up" which I do, but only to press forward on the CD player. He also says sticking feathers up your ass does not make you a chicken. Seriously.
Track Three- Ah, the "I am I be" re-do where he takes Posdnuos rhymes and changes them a little so they reflect his situation or whatever. Why do rappers think it's so awesome to take the flow, cadence and bulk of another rappers verse and pretend it's not biting as much as it is a tribute to artist? Lazy creativity does not equal an artistic statement. Oh yeah, this track is boring as well except for the guy who sings like he's some drunk Englishmen from the 80's. And I only like his part becuase it sounds retarded. That's the best compliment I can muster.
Track Four- Actually I kinda like this beat because it's kinda hype. But I just realized that P.O.S.'s yelling/hyped delivery kinda sounds like Eminem ranting about how hard it is to be Eminem...and that sucks.
Track 5-I heard Slug from Atmosphere on this. Sparse beat at a slow tempo and these two emcees trading verses that may or may not relate. I don't know, I'm on my 3rd cup of coffee and I'm nodding off. Next.
Track 6-I'm not so sure this isn't Eminem rapping. If he mentions Hailey then it is him. Wait, he just said "we don't throw our hands up like we don't care anymore we throw our hands up like we don't care anymore...'cuz we don't...I give it all to the bone, my people we are not alone." I think it's funny because some interview I read on this album presented that line like it was a moment of lyrical genius or something. Jokes on that interviewer! Next!
Track 7-HA ha haaaaa! This track cracks me up. It features Jack Kimball who must be another drunken Englishman raised on the Smiths ranting about the only movie he walked out on: The Predator. He says this: "I've only walked out on one single movie-it was an action adventure-it was a blood-sucking summer-the posters in the lobby of the theater called it Predator-I called it weak and unwatchable-Carl Withers and two future governors-ya know it's really unacceptable-we gotta stop falling for these (unintelligable) double speakers from the double-features-we gotta keep them in the theaters." You have to actually hear it to understand how bad it is. Plus, who the fuck does this revisionist mu'fuckah think he is dissin' Carl Withers circa 1987? Withers lost an arm for that movie! That's mutherfucking dedication! Anyway, this song is boring and uneventful, not to mention slow. It must be deep.
Track 8-Slow track. Sounds like Eminem pissed off and doing tongue-twisters for a verse. Boring.
Track 9-Ok, this is just terrible. Sampled rock guitars and ehhh, at least it's short.
Track 10-16-More of the same. Seriously, if I listen to 9 out of 16 tracks and only one is kind of interesting in comparison to the other tracks then why even bother listening to the other tracks all the way. These songs all sound like they are saying the same thing: I can rap over tracks with all sorts of weird instrumental arrangements. And I sound like a ranting Eminem. Very boring and uninteresting. This is the embodiment of nerd-rap...very "serious" rapping with the occasional yell to show sincerity over uninspired keyboard-sounding production. I read an interview that claimed that this album was the future of hip-hop. I hope not. I picked up this album at the library and said to myself "I'm pretty sure this dude's rap name isn't piece of shit" but after listening to the album I must conclude that it probably is. At least he knows it though. So there it is-an hour of my life gone, thanks to nerd-rap. I have endured this marginal art so you do not have to. Give praise.

On a side note: I quit my job and will be writing more now. Seriously. I mean it this time.

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