In writing the review of the Demigodz’ great album Killmatic, I realized that it’s pretty rare for a rapper to have a group of his own that’s actually decent. I’m talking about groups that people came up with like Eminem’s D12 and groups they created like Snoop Dogg’s Tha Eastsidaz. Not supergroups where the roster is full of already-famous people. Let’s face it, being successful doesn’t speak to your ability to judge other people’s talents, at all. In fact, I’d venture to say that the average rapper is a horrible judge of talent in others. For evidence, see 90% of rap/sung collaborations. Or maybe these cats are just bad at nurturing the talent they find. Either way, hip-hop history is littered with bad groups fronted by good rappers.
I think it’s only fair to start this with a douche-baggish disclaimer: for me, Joe Budden fell off when the DJ Clue mixtape days ended. Joe’s problem is that he tries to make his music personal but fails and it ends up landing in cliche-territory. He’s still good sometimes, but I miss that simple-minded battle-rapper. Now he makes this pop-tinged emotion-soaked shit and it’s completely missing me.
Accordingly, I didn’t have high hopes for this album, but I expected to find at least a few good songs. Seems I ask for too much.