Posts Tagged ‘Pop Rap’

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Drake – Take Care

Monday, May 14, 2012
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Take Care (2011)

I don’t know how to phrase this but…sigh…I like Drake.

There, I said it. Haters are gonna hate, but there’s something endearing about this Canadian (or maybe American?) rapper I can’t place my finger on. Maybe I sympathize with him, in some strange way. Yeah, I’m not millionaire (it’s only four figures when they tax me), and I don’t have sex four times a week (as alluded to in “Marvin’s Room”). But for some reason, this album speaks to me, and it’s nice to sit back and chill out to good beats and a good flow.

Damn…the beats. The beats are absolutely stellar on this album, from the first lines of “Over my Dead Body” to “The Ride”. There’s a ream of amazing guest artists that almost steal the show (Rihanna, The Weekend, Nicki Manaj, Lil Wayne, and André 3000, the latter’s whose rapping borders on poetic brilliance in “The Real Her”, perhaps my favorite track on the album, in close contention with “Crew Love”).

I’ve listened to this album many times through, and haven’t grown tired of it yet. For a while, I’d play “Over My Dead Boyd” in the car real loud after I got off work each day, and it would take me away. I’ve listened to that one so much that I can almost recite the lyrics verbatim (even if I feel utterly ridiculous doing so).

Undeniably, there are several down tracks, but for the most part, Take Care is solid throughout, especially from the first track through “Marvin’s Room”. Even if the lyrics are lackluster at points, Drake’s sincerity more than makes up for it. Besides, it’s the general feel that appeals to me most. Take Care accomplishes that and then some.

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Jay-Z – The Black Album

Friday, August 26, 2011
The Black Album (2003)

The Black Album (2003)

Last Sunday I bought this, doubling my hip hop collection. Kind of sad? Yes. Obviously, I’m not that into rap, and that’s a damn shame. It’s taken me a while to check out what is, arguably, the most popular genre of music in America.

Other than Illmatic and some of the more really popular songs that come on the radio (the ones so popular that I’d literally have to be living under a rock or willfully ignoring them to not know they exist), my knowledge of rap is near zero. It’s just never appealed to me. I’ve always been a rocker/indie type at core.

But if The Black Album is any indication, I’m missing out on quite a lot. Now I want to dig deeper, not only into Jay-Z, but other rappers, too.

I’ve been told that this is not Jay-Z at his best, but after a week of listening to it, I really like what I hear  – and if this is not his best, then I’m really looking forward to his earlier stuff. I already have some favorite tracks – “Moment of Clarity,” “What More Can I Say,” and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” being some.

I like The Black Album, because it’s easily accessible to a newbie like me. It’s something I can instantly like and get into. I love how Jay-Z blends pop and rap together – making this album just fun to listen to.  Oh yeah, and the lyrics are great (for the most part). As a man of words, I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to check out music where words are the main emphasis. This album is  a pleasure to listen to.

I also picked up The Chronic by Dr. Dre – so rest assured – I hope to review some more rap pretty soon, including Illmatic. Figured I’d start with the classics to have a good base. As my appreciation and knowledge for it grow, hopefully the reviews will get a little better as well.

Also, if you have any recommendations for stuff to review – post it below. I’m always looking for new music.