Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Break

taking the week off for new years - lord knows i wouldn't be getting much done.  i'll be back in 2012 with weeks 65 & 66.  happy new year, y'all!

Final Grade: B/B+

As an overall rap album, this is very good.  I love Common's sweet flow - his tone sounds like melted chocolate, and that's tasty.  His positive message is something that should be more popular in mainstream today, and it's unfortunate that poetry like his gets overlooked.  I really liked this album, there were definitely a lot of tight grooves going on.  I think that the album, and the songs individually could have been a little shorter.  When I was listening to the album in full earlier, I got a little bored - the same kind of mellow beats and his ultra-mellow tone can become a little tiresome - that was my biggest concern.  I think it could have used some more upbeat beats to keep you moving.  Regardless, there are some classic tracks on here, and I'm sure I'll be bumpin em for more time to come.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Payback Is a Grandmother

Geto Heaven, Pt 2

A Song for Assata

Pops Rap III...All My Children

Songs of the Day

Payback Is a Grandmother:  I've most definitely heard this beat on a loop for a commercial, or some kind of interlude on MTV, or something like that - it's fresh.  Dig the bass part in particular.  Upsetting topic about a grandmother getting mugged, but of course Common does what Common does and portrays it eloquently.  Interesting thing to write about, but definitely a relevant topic, so it's good to know that it's addressed in some light.  Ending with a drive-by wasn't what I expected...but it has a nice lead up lyrically, so I can respect the message.  May be a little long, but not anything crazy.

Geto Heaven, Pt. 2 (ft D'Angelo):  Okay, the female vocalist isn't featured in the title, but I swear it's Macy Gray (and I just checked elsewhere, and I am correct).  Interesting that she doesn't get the feature even though she's got a solid, and significant part in the song.  Dig the more picked up beat on this one - I was getting a little tired, so I'm glad this one has a nice dance groove to it.  The breakdown is fuckin sweet, really dig it.  A little confused by the D'Angelo feature...maybe he's playing keys (?), because he most definitely is not singing on this one.  Hmmm....that's disappointing.  That feature got my hopes up.

A Song for Assata (ft Cee-Lo):  Love the church feel on this groove, which I will mainly thank the organ for.  Chillin beat with a nice, heavy back beat - I dig it.  Cool to hear Cee-Lo (before he was supermegastar Cee-Lo) on this track - he's got such a soulful voice.  Dig the slight vocal echo in the back  - adds a nice weight to the vocals.  Nice breakdown at the end.  Solid track, but it's definitely long.    

Pops Rap III... All My Children (ft Lonnie Lynn):  Oh yay, pops rap!  Common's got a couple of these tracks, featuring his father, and I think that is so sweet.  He has such a soothing voice - no surprise Common takes after him.  Sweet, jazzy groove to back him up.  Listen and get some knowledge dropped.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The 6th Sense (ft Bilal)

A Film Called (Pimp) [ft MC Lyte & Bilal]

Nag Champa (Afrodisiac for the World)

Thelonius (ft Slum Village)

Songs of the Day

The 6th Sense (ft Bilal):  This seems like a pretty standard, go-to kind of beat for Common - definitely have heard him on this chopped beat feel before.  Not to say that's a bad thing at all, I really like this beat and I think it's a good thing that Common has a comfort zone - it's a good comfort zone.  Dig Bilal on the simple "I know, hey" chorus - it's a nice contrast against the chopped beat.  Always gotta love Common's positive message, this time with hip hop as his main subject.  I'm down with it.  The pimp monologe at the end is weird, and slightly uncomfortable, but an interesting segway into the next track.

A Film Called (Pimp) [ft MC Lyte & Bilal]:  Dig the beat on this one - there's a sick heaviness, particularly in the bass, that really holds everything down.  MC Lyte's flow is really tight, and works really well with Common's - dig it.  The back and forth, conversation style of this track is cool, definitely keeps me interested.  Bilal has such an interesting tone, he makes any song cool.  Cool tune, made even cooler by the Afro-Cuban beat at the end.

Nag Champa (Afrodiasiac for the World):  Love the mellowness of this beat - nice and relaxed.  I need a bubble bath, or something along those lines, to properly appreciate this tune.  Dig the cut outs to feature Common's words.  No named feature, but sure sounds like Bilal on the chorus, and he's been on the last couple tracks... hmm... Favorite line of this one "my verse depth is that of a baby's first step" - damn.  Sit back and chill to this one.

Thelonius (ft Slum Village):  I've reviewed almost every feature on this album, and I think that's pretty cool.  Nice to hear Slum Village on this track - and they're actually understandable, which was an issue I had on Fantastic Vol. 2.  This is the most "okay" beat of the day.  It's cool, but I've heard it before, and nothing about it really grabs me.  The verses are tight, but I get distracted by the fact that I'm not attached to the groove.