Thursday, April 13, 2006

Some quick reviews

T.I – King

     T.I’s on the receiving end of a whole heap of buzz for King and it’s pretty easy to see why. The record’s a big boastful sonovabitch that just screams I’m an important rapper. Coming off somewhere between a Vol1 and a Vol2 on the Jigga scale, Tip manages to balance commercial aspirations and the hardcore material pretty deftly. While I’m not really a fan of rappers with overly exaggerated drawl (whitey can’t understand shit! But at least I’ll admit to it) the self proclaimed King of the south has got a quality vocal presence and he switches up his flow lovely on a couple of tracks, making as good a claim for the “best-southern rapper” title as anyone else. Highlights include the berserk synth-based single What you know, the clever house-n-tribe flip of Why you wanna, the couple of Just Blaze and Swizz bangers and the UGK tribute front-back. It drags on a little too long and there’s some generic material thrown in the midst but if I have to chose between Tip’s swagger and Jeezy’s ignant adlibbing for current go-to southerner, I’ll take T.I.

Dudley Perkins – Expressions 2012 AU

     I’m sorry to say it, but Dudley is a Madlib vehicle no more no less. Which is kind of sad considering the amount of vocalists that could benefit from Mad’s beats and who’d do them better than Declaime’s smoked out alter-ego. That said, like all Stones Throw projects, this has to be taken on its own terms and viewed through that lens (and heard when really high) it doesn’t sound too bad. Much like the previous record the duo unleashed on the public, its best to let the filler pass you by and focus on the highlights. In the case, Testin Me is the obvious standout with a beat so ill that it’s a cot damn shame that it didn’t find its way to Nas and Doom or just about anybody who raps. Dudley doesn’t do it bad though. Other ill tracks include Come here my dear featuring the typically reliable MED, the chill Cali vibe of Separate Ways, the spacy Last Stand and the 8 minute crazy-psych-epic Dear God. But is there anything as catchy as Flowers? Well, this album’s gem Inside comes close but it’s still no cigar. On a whole it’s a better batch of songs than the last one and it’s still better than anything Ne-Yo will ever put out.

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