DOOM (MF Doom)-Born Like This (2009)

My Rating: 76% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: 80%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 77%

Average Rating: 78%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Supervillain Intro
  2. Gazzillion Ear
  3. Ballskin
  4. Yessir (featuring Raekwon)
  5. Absolutely
  6. Rap Ambush
  7. Lightworks
  8. Batty Boyz
  9. Angelz (featuring Tony Starks)
  10. Cellz
  11. Still Dope (featuring Empress Starhh Tha Femcee)
  12. Microwave Mayo
  13. More Rhymin’
  14. That’s That
  15. Supervillainz (featuring Kurious, Mobonix & Slug)
  16. Bumpy’s Message (featuring Bumpy Knuckles)
  17. Thank Ya

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing to get some anger out/concentrate on a new project.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super odd, fits Doom’s style.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Doom is at his angriest on Born Like This, there’s something that has changed him when he released this album. A depressing epiphany of some sort proceeded this album, and we can thank it for the dirty, dark, and much more focused rhyme style of Doom. I do miss the jokey rhymes that Doom was known for saying, but I can’t help but enjoy this more angry version of the villain. As always Doom shoots his albums in the foot by using so so many interludes, it’s really the only reason his albums get such a low rating, we don’t need interludes anymore, I don’t understand the draw to them in the rap genre, if you must, tack em to a beginning or ending of song, don’t make it a separate track and make us think we’re getting more than we actually are. Born Like This is Doom’s darkest offering, visit if you dare.

Advertisements

Tyler, The Creator-Cherry Bomb (2015)

My Rating: 42% (D-)

Pitchfork Rating: 67%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 69%

Average Rating: 62%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. DEATHCAMP
  2. BUFFALO
  3. PILOT
  4. RUN
  5. FIND YOUR WINGS
  6. CHERRY BOMB
  7. BLOW MY LOAD
  8. 2SEATER
  9. THE BROWN STAINS OF DARKEESE LATIFAH PART 6-12 (REMIX)
  10. FUCKING YOUNG / PERFECT
  11. SMUCKERS
  12. KEEP DA O’S
  13. OKAGA, CA

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

I don’t know, half asleep?

Thoughts on Album Cover:

This album cover was actually the first thing that convinced me to check Tyler out.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

Before I was even listening to Tyler, The Creator, I remember reading an interview with him about the negative reception of this album. He said something along the lines as people being upset about what he was rapping about now, saying that he used to rap about having to live with his grandma and that just wasn’t his life after becoming an artist. Of course that makes sense, your art will change dependent on how your life changes, but I don’t think that’s why it was negatively received, it was received negatively because it’s not a good album. Seriously Cherry Bomb just isn’t a good album, it’s boring, it’s kind of R&B at times, and most the album I was waiting for Tyler to start going hard on the mic, but whenever he did, which is a rare moment on Cherry Bomb, it was too little too late. I’m glad Tyler didn’t keep going down this road. Boring album.

People Under The Stairs-Fun DMC (2008)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 88%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Swan Fever
  2. Step Bacc
  3. Up Yo Spine (Fishbucket Pt. 3)
  4. The Fun
  5. The Grind
  6. Anotha’ (BBQ)
  7. The Ultimate 144
  8. Letter 2 c/o The Bronx
  9. Party Enemy No. 1
  10. Enjoy
  11. Gamin’ on Ya
  12. Critical Condition
  13. The Wiz
  14. People Riddum (Feat. Odell)
  15. California (Feat. Blvme)
  16. Love’s Theme
  17. A Baby
  18. Same Beat (The Wesley Rap)
  19. D
  20. The Mike & Chris Story

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Ready to party or just vibe out to some laid back hip-hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Pretty funny, definitely on the better side of their album covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Ugh if only I could find it, but yes I want it very badly.

Final Thoughts:

If it’s not obvious that I’m a big fan of People Under The Stairs I don’t know when it will ever be, perhaps when I review all of their albums? Fun DMC is my favourite album of theirs so far, it’s just so much…fun. The title really gets to the heart of the mentality of the group, old school fun hip-hop. It’s like Jurassic 5, but with two emcees who love their craft and focus on their beats to a worrisome level. The lyrics are goofy, the flows are in the pocket, there is little else I need from a hip-hop album than what Fun DMC delivers. Now start re-releasing some vinyl so I can listen to it forever and ever.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard-Return To The 36 Chambers (1995)

My Rating: 74% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 74%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. Shimmy Shimmy Ya
  3. Baby C’mon
  4. Brooklyn Zoo
  5. Hippa To Da Hoppa
  6. Raw Hide
  7. Damage
  8. Don’t You Know
  9. The Stomp
  10. Goin’ Down
  11. Drunk Game (Sweet Sugar Pie)
  12. Snakes
  13. Brookly Zoo II
  14. Protekt Ya Neck II The Zoo
  15. Cuttin’ Headz
  16. Dirty Dancin’
  17. Harlem World

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting crazy non-conventional hip hop that’s grimy and dirty.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s iconic, can’t say enough about it. A+

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

If it was on sale, sure.

Final Thoughts:

Ol’ Dirty Bastard is The Wu-Tang Clan’s wild card, while Method Man is sleepy, Redman is goofy, Ghostface is lyrically impressive, Ol’ Dirty sounds like he’s being unleashed from a cell somewhere deep in a mental asylum. Although this album is iconic among hip-hop heads, I personally thought it was a little too all over the place for my liking. When Dirty has his Clan members to keep him somewhat contained, his dangerous flow style is a breath of fresh air and keeps the Wu-Tang interesting and diverse. On his own though, there is nobody to reel the crazy man in, and although it makes for a unique and influential album, it doesn’t always make for the best listen. I love Dirty, there are some amazing tracks on Return To The 36 Chambers but it just will never mean as much to me as it seems to to others.

Kendrick Lamar-Good Kid M.A.A.D City (2012)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 95%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 91%

Average Rating: 92%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Sherane A.K.A. Master Splinters Daughter
  2. Bitch, Dan’t Kill My Vibe
  3. Backstreet Freestyle
  4. The Art Of Peer Pressure
  5. Money Trees (Feat. Jay Rock)
  6. Poetic Justice (Feat. Drake)
  7. Good Kid
  8. M.A.A.D City (Feat. MC Eiht)
  9. Swimming Pools (Drank) (Extended Version)
  10. Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst
  11. Real (Feat. Anna Wise Of Sonnymoon)
  12. Compton (Feat. Dr. Dre)
  13. The Recipe (Feat. Dr Dre)
  14. Black Boy Fly
  15. Now Or Never (Feat. Mary J. Blige)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for innovative hip-hop with impressive beats and rhymes.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Boring, I really don’t like most of Kendrick’s album covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

For sure.

Final Thoughts:

This is the album that got Kendrick on my radar, I didn’t dig into it much until recently, but I’ve been listening to both The Recipe and Swimming Pools since their release and have been thoroughly impressed with both. I didn’t think that the rest of the album would hold up, but I was proven wrong after one listen through, Good Kid M.A.A.D City is an incredible album showcasing one of the most beloved artist making music today. Kendrick is the new Tupac or Biggie, screw Jay-Z, Lamar owns the mainstream rap scene, and the funny thing is I don’t think many people would disagree with me on that, even non-hip-hop heads.

Method Man-The Meth Lab (2011)

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 40%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 59%

Average Rating: 60%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. The Meth Lab (Feat. Hanz On & Streetlife)
  3. Straight Gutta (Feat. Redman, Hanz On & Streetlife)
  4. Bang Zoom (Feat. Hanz On, Streetlife & Eazy Get Rite)
  5. 50 Shots (Feat. Mack Wilds, Streetlife & Cory Gunz)
  6. The Pledge (Feat. Hanz On & Streetlife)
  7. 2 Minutes Of Your Time
  8. Worldwide (Feat. Hanz On, Uncle Murda & Chedda Bang)
  9. Soundcheck (Feat. Hanz On & Carlton Fisk)
  10. Water (Feat. Chedda Bang)
  11. Lifestyles (Feat. Cardi, Eazy Get Rite & Freaky Marciano)
  12. The Purple Tape (Feat. Raekwon & Inspectah Deck)
  13. Intelligent Meth (Feat. Masta Killa, Streetlife & iNTeLL)
  14. Symphony (Feat. Hanz On, Streetlife, Kash Verrazano, Carlton Fisk & Killa Sin)
  15. What You Getting Into (Feat. Streetlife & Donny Cacsh)
  16. Another Winter (Feat. Hanz On, Streetlife & Carlton Fisk)
  17. Rain All Day (Feat. Hanz On & Dro Pesci)
  18. So Staten (Feat. Hanz On & Hue Huf)
  19. Outro

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for laid back gangster hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love it, cool colours.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

In a market where hip hop heads and critics pretty much demand innovation and experimentation, a few emcees hold up a middle finger, drink a Colt 45, and continue doing things their way, one of those emcees is Method Man, and it’s business as usual on The Meth Lab. Critics don’t like this album, but Method Man could give a shit, this is an album for Wu-Tang Clan fans, and they should be delighted, because I sure as hell am. This is solid hip-hop, it’s lots of fun, and it’s pretty simplistic, it’s not going to be my favourite album, but you know what? I’m not looking for a groundbreaking album from Method Man, I’m looking for old school hip-hop, and the man delivers on The Meth Lab.

Wu-Block-Wu-Block (2012)

My Rating: 81% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 65%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 73%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Crack Spot Stories (feat. Raekwon & Jadakiss)
  2. Pour tha Martini (feat. Cappadonna)
  3. Pull tha Cars Out (feat. Method Man)
  4. Guns for Life (feat. Styles P)
  5. Comin for Ya Head (feat. Styles P & Raekwon)
  6. Cocaine Central (feat. Styles P)
  7. Take Notice
  8. Drivin’ Round (feat. Masta Killah, GZA & Erykah Badu)
  9. Different Time Zones (feat. Inspectah Deck)
  10. Stick Up Kids (feat. Jadakiss)
  11. All in Together (feat. Styles P & Jadakiss)
  12. Do It Like Us (feat. Raekwon)
  13. Stella (feat. Method Man)
  14. Been Robbed
  15. Bust Shots (feat. Inspectah Deck)
  16. Bust Shots (Andrew Kelley Remix)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the search for Wu Tang side projects.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s not amazing, but it’s not offensive to look at either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Meh if it was cheap, if not then no.

Final Thoughts:

Ghostface Killah is my favourite emcee of the Wu-Tang Clan, easily. Anything Ghostface is involved with is automatically interesting to me, but that’s not to say he can do no wrong, he’s more of the artist who when they hit they hit hard and when they miss it’s a whole lot of meh. Surprisingly Wu-Block landed in the middle for me, it wasn’t the best album Ghostface has touched, it wasn’t the worst, it was great shuffle material. The album as a whole didn’t do a lot for me, I’m not going to laugh giddily if I come across it in a record store, but if I saw it I would briefly consider picking it up. Wu-Block is great fodder for your shuffle, but it’s not an album you’re going to turn to often.

People Under The Stairs-…Or Stay Tuned (2003)

My Rating: 86% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 86%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Yield
  2. Plunken’ Em
  3. Roadbeaters
  4. Fly Love Song
  5. Drumbox
  6. OST Remix
  7. Yo
  8. LA Song (Sensitive Mix)
  9. SF Knights Remix
  10. Take The Fruit
  11. Outrun

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking to chill while cooking.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Not their best, but not their worst either. Doesn’t have much of an impact on me at all.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly but these guys are hard to find.

Final Thoughts:

In a righteous world People Under The Stairs are considered as important to the hip-hop scene as Run The Jewels, but we don’t live in a righteous world, so mumble rap is a thing. Double K and Thes One have incredible chemistry, their rhyme schemes match up impeccably over the incredibly chill beats they make in some basement somewhere. …Or Stay Tuned is another fantastic album in an already impressive discography, these two know their craft, their audience, and their flow will never get old to me. People Under The Stairs should be on the radio, they should be referenced by other hip hop heads, but part of their charisma is knowing that they are making music for a small group of fans, and somehow you found yourself to be one of them.

Mase-Double Up (1999)

My Rating: 53% (D)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 53%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro
  2. Stay Out Of My Way (Feat. Total)
  3. Get Ready (Feat. Blackstreet)
  4. Make Me Cry
  5. Award Show (Interlude)
  6. Same Niggas
  7. No Matter What
  8. If You Want To Party
  9. Jail Visit (Interlude)
  10. Fuck Me, Fuck You (Feat. Mysonne)
  11. Do It Again (Feat. Puff Daddy)
  12. Another Story To Tell
  13. Blood Is Thicker
  14. You Ain’t Smart
  15. All I Ever Wanted
  16. Mad Rapper (Interlude)
  17. From Scratch (Feat. Shyne, Harlem World & Mysonne)
  18. Gettin’ It (Feat. Funkmaster Flex)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Digging for a few Bad Boy releases to add to your collection.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Laughably terrible.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nah.

Final Thoughts:

Double Up is a conglomerate of what makes a rap album terrible: unnecessary interludes, featuring artists who end up being the only artist on the track, a trying to hard to be tough attitude, repetitive choruses, and explicit to be explicit mentality. Mase is no doubt somewhat of a legend when it comes to hip-hop, but good lord Double Up misses so many marks it’s almost like it was intentional. This is bottom of the barrel Bad Boy records that are better left forgotten than revisited. There are a couple tracks that are fun, but honestly you’re not missing much if you skip out on this one.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑