I pretty much hatedMy Krazy Life. Let’s start there. Looking back at that review, I can only conclude that my opinion was a product of its time. I still think that DJ Mustard’s beats all sound the same, and that most of that album sounds like tracings of Mustard’s other hits from that era. Therefore, I see how the resultant cheap and haphazard sound of the album would have turned me off immediately. But maybe I was a bit harsh in not mentioning Bompton, which, now separated from Mustard’s radio reign, sounds pretty damn good.
Irregardless (tee-hee), we’re here to talk about Still Brazy.
Stupid-lookin’ ass cover be damned, I really like By Dom Kennedy. I had basically no expectations coming into this album, only being barely aware of who Dom Kennedy was: some new West Coast rapper who featured on a pretty good song from Kendrick Lamar’s early mixtape, Overly Dedicated. The song wasn’t super impressive but it caught my attention enough to bring me here, so shout out to Kendrick for helping to make this happen.
Where to begin with this album? It’s consumed my free time for the past week and change, but I’m already tired of thinking about it. I definitely don’t feel like writing a lot, but I probably have no choice. Kanye has been a complex character lately. One who seemed bored with rap but never completely let it go in favor of terrible singing and over high-priced fashion. Given that ambiguity, The Life of Pablo is impressive in its cohesion, but disappointing in how little it feels like Hip-Hop to me. I won’t get into his twitter antics during the lead-up to the album, but Google them if you need to. It’s worth the laugh and the possible insight into this guy’s psyche.
T has been patiently waiting, so let’s get into some Army of the Pharoahs material that I don’t hate. The album stream is embedded at the bottom.
I think Apathy is probably my favorite white rapper. Or maybe El-P. Both are clearly attached to the East Coast boom-bap that I love, and both SPIT. Where El-P’s music is very personal and often sonically and lyrically challenging, Apathy has much more of a back-to-basics ethos that makes him instantly likeable for any fan of hard beats and boastful lyrics. Lucky for us, none of that changed with Connecticut Casual, his 2014 album.
After Cadillactica (sorry I never got around to reviewing that, but it’s mostly great), I’m settling into a groove with K.R.I.T. With each release, I enjoy the hell out of the songs about simple stuff like sex and cars, but I can’t be bothered with some of his more meaningful songs. Case in point, I’m really struggling with how to rate his latest mixtape, It’s Better This Way. It’s definitely not bad, but is it outstanding?
Back in Eminem’s Marshal Mathers LP days, I was introduced to D12 on the song Under the Influence. Having already been decently familiar with famous Eminem but knowing nothing of his past, I was kind of amazed. It turned out that the transgressive White lyricist was backed by a crew of Black hardcore rappers, who shared some of his shock tendencies but were mostly just really solid emcees. So I was excited to hear more of the Dirty Dozen, but singles like Purple Pills and My Band annoyed me much too much to allow that to happen. Now, here I am, in 2015, finally listening to a full D12 project, The Devil’s Night Mixtape. And just like with Guilty Simpson, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long with another Detroit artist!