Visionaries-Sophomore Jinx (1999)

My Rating: 82 (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 82 (B+)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Never The Same
  2. Top Choice
  3. Making Things Right (Love Rules All)
  4. Quattroduction
  5. Stand Still
  6. Reach
  7. DJ’s MC’s
  8. Somersault Suicide
  9. La Fresh
  10. Tipping The Scales
  11. Peace Mic
  12. Self Sufficient
  13. Come One Come All
  14. Spiritual Warfare
  15. Everybody’s Lying
  16. Thicken Up
  17. Who?
  18. Honorable Mention
  19. Together or Separate

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting some pure hip hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super 90’s it’s hilarious.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

Visionaries are yet another underground hip hop super group, as with most supergroups of the time, most, if not all, of the emcees involved went on to become successful with their solo careers as well. Visionaries gave us LMNO and 2Mex, 2Mex being the standout emcee of the crew. Sophomore Jinx is pure hip hop, simple beats, lots of samples and scratches, with an emcee spitting vivid imagery over the whole thing. If you’re a fan of the art in itself then Sophomore Jinx is an album to dig into, if you are more into current hip hop this might be a bit out of your comfort zone.

Advertisements

Abstract Rude-Rejuvenation (2009)

My Rating: 71% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 71% (C++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Hip Hop Ryde
  2. Rejuvenation
  3. Nuff Fire
  4. The Conch
  5. Thynk Eye Can (Haiku D’Etat Mix)
  6. TV Show
  7. Sadly Ever After
  8. Tomorry
  9. Diggin It?
  10. Aaron, Ab, Abbey
  11. Rsvp (Wanna Party)
  12. Man Down
  13. Is What It Is
  14. Parables

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to meditate with hip hop in the background.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I friggin’ love this album cover, something about it just works so well.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah but it’ll probably cost an arm and a leg.

Final Thoughts:

Abstract Rude is one of my favourite emcees to come out of The Good Life Cafe, his flow is so chill and his lyrics are always interesting. I remember getting into his song All Day as well as being entranced by his work on Life Goes On with Pigeon John on the Is Dating Your Sister album. Abstract is unique (congrats if you get that joke), I honestly can’t say I’ve come across an emcee quite like him. Rejuvenation is one of his most consistent albums, even though it didn’t get a great rating from me there are some true gems on here. His album making skills are questionable at times, but I’m willing to dig through his discography to find the best one. Rejuvenation is a great start for Abstract Rude enquirers  but I bet there’s a better album to start with. Give me time and I’ll dig it up for you.

Motion Man-Clearing the Field (2002)

My Rating: 63% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 63% (C)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Action Figure Intro
  2. Straight Flowin’ on Em
  3. Clearing the Field
  4. Funky Ass White Boy
  5. Loose Cannon
  6. Hold Up (feat. Biz Markie)
  7. Winner Takes All
  8. Play Dough
  9. Reason 2 Panic (feat. E-40)
  10. One of My Favorite Emcees (skit)
  11. C’mon on Ya’ll
  12. Call da National Guard 2
  13. Trounce
  14. Don’t Get Motion Started
  15. Having a Moment
  16. Face 2 Face (feat. Planet Asia)
  17. Make It and Sell It
  18. Side ta Side
  19. I Need a Vacation (feat. Noggin Nodders)
  20. We Work Styles (feat. Kool Keith & LC)
  21. Juan’s Sister (skit)
  22. Beotches
  23. Gotta Move On (outro)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to dig for a few hip-hop gems.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I used to love it as a teenager, but I don’t know I fell out of love with it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not this one.

Final Thoughts:

Clearing The Field showcases more of that underground original deliverance from Motion Man that has gone unnoticed by most hip hop heads for far too long, while not being at all well put together. The album, like a lot of hip hop, just has way too many interludes that break the vibe that you’re trying to pick up. Motion Man is undoubtedly a very talented underappreciated emcee, but Clearing The Field is not the album to prove my point on that. True, there are definitely some worthwhile tracks on here, and some awesome guest emcees, but it’s altogether too disjointed and feels much more like a mixtape than an actual album.

Pigeon John-Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister (2003)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 100%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Highschool Reunion
  2. Life Goes On
  3. Identity Crisis
  4. Deception
  5. Emily
  6. Fox Hills Mallmacks
  7. Originalz
  8. Crazy
  9. Hello Everybody
  10. Orange County
  11. Sam the Goat
  12. 2 Step
  13. What Is Love?
  14. The Art of Falling Off
  15. Alone…

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a goofy hip hop album that still can be sad at times.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious, I love it!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah don’t know if it exists but if it does I want it.

Final Thoughts:

Before I discovered the whole genre of joke rap (Heath McNease and Lil Dicky come to mind), Before I discovered the Good Life Cafe (Jurassic 5, Abstract Rude, Freestyle Fellowship), I found Pigeon John. I heard his song Hello Everybody on a Hip Hope compilation and really loved it. I ordered this album and listened to it repeatedly on my CD walkman walking down my High School’s hallways feeling like the pimpiest nerd in the whole town. Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister is extremely fun (Highschool Reunion), catchy (Hello Everybody), easily accessible (Identity Crises), and heartbreaking (Emily), it’s a really diverse well rounded album that every hip hop head should indulge in.

Motion Man-Adult Situations (2010)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 96%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Pouring You Mo Champagne
  2. High School Reunion (feat. Lyrical C)
  3. Interoffice Romance
  4. Remodeling Job
  5. You’re The Woman
  6. Porno Mustache (feat. Lyrical C)
  7. Close Call
  8. Smile (feat. Lyrical C)
  9. Tell Me What You Want (feat. D’Wyze)
  10. Night Stroll
  11. Interoffice Romance (Kutmasta Kurt remix)
  12. Tell Me What You Want (TomC3 remix)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for jazzy, sexy, hip-hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It reminds me of like a noir detective film from the 60’s. Super original.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes, I doubt I’ll be able to find it though.

Final Thoughts:

I first heard Motion Man through a song called One Time For Your Mind featuring Gift of Gab (one half of Blackalicious) and I was shocked how we could keep up with Gab’s flow. He has a style that is unique and expressive, so I took a chance on his album Pablito’s Way. Years later I’m digging into other albums and I’m glad  I did. Adult Situations is a concept album, with lots of what it promises. It’s a goofy, fun album with lots of really amazing beats. Motion Man rhymes along to the beats with ease, having fun while doing it. Motion Man is one of the most underrated emcees around, even among the underground scene he’s not really well known, which is unfortunate because he’s really talented, Adult Situations shows how ridiculous the emcee can get, while still showing his incredible vocal talent.

Pigeon John-Good Sinner (2016)

My Rating: 58% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 58%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Good Sinner
  2. Knock Out
  3. Rebel Rebel
  4. That’s What I Like
  5. Stick Up
  6. The Tops
  7. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)
  8. All Eyes On Me
  9. Gravity
  10. She’s Loud
  11. Shake It Down
  12. Take Off

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You:

Want a no brainer pop album to not pay attention to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s pretty sharp, I think it’s a really cool looking picture that makes me really want to get into this album.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not in the slightest.

Final Thoughts:

Selling out. to me, is when you leave your fanbase to try to make music that’s popular at the time. That’s exactly what’s wrong with Good Sinner, this isn’t the Pigeon John I know and love. This is a Pigeon John that has been shaped by what is popular. The music is catchy for the moment then instantly forgotten. The lyrics are meaningless and radio friendly. I get that you have to make money as an artist, but it’s sad to see one of my favourites (the creator of great tunes like As We Know It and Rock Bottom Again) churn out an album as poor as this. The Identity Crisis continues, please go back to Dragon Slayer and/or Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑