So I was walking home from work some time last week and this guy came up to me and tried to push his record on me. He asked me if I liked “dance” music. I told him no. He mentioned other genres I didn’t like. I kept insisting I didn’t listen to that stuff. I said I listened to jazz. Then he asked if I liked classical to which I answered honestly. He claimed his “beats” were somehow indebted to classical. This confused me.
I don’t know what it was, but eventually I gave in and bought his record. I think there were a number of factors at play:
- I always feel guilty about not giving people on the street money, and if they are offering something in return, it feels more reasonable to me.
- Also, I appreciated his hustle. He walked with me for blocks and he was out there promoting himself in a way I would never do. I can’t even imagine standing on the street trying to get people to download my Leafs book, or what have you. So I appreciated a creative person.
- And, I guess, I figured I could help him out, even if I didn’t like it, by passing it on to someone else who might like it.
Most of the music I listen to, I know the genres well. I know whether or not something is good; I listen to so much of a particular genre usually that I have a really good idea. But I don’t know that here. I can only say what I suspect, and I am hesitant to even review this because honestly I don’t know if this is average (or even above average) hip hop from Toronto. (I don’t even know what genre it is really – it’s definitely not dance music, he was wrong there, but it’s hip hop and some other things.)
But I guess if you chase down a white guy on the street, and he insists that he doesn’t like your type of music, but you press him until he buys your CD because he feels guilty, I guess you deserve what you get…
This is some pretty weak stuff. The lyrics are all about picking up chicks – or just getting their numbers! – having sex, drinking with women, the skin colour of women, driving around, making lots of money, and the usual hip hop braggadocio. I really don’t think it adds to any dialogue about anything. And there’s a skit. I have been told that skits are more common on hip hop records – I wouldn’t know, but they’re just about nowhere to be found on rock records – but one of the two actors in the skit is brutal. (The other is believable.) The skit, incidentally, is at a barbershop. I believe JT Cutts is a barber in his day job. And he raps about that. So there’s that.
The music, as far as I know, is hip hop cliche 101. With some added “reggae” vocalizations and, of course, some auto-tune. (It’s interesting that your musical past informs your idea of bad singing. There’s one track on here where he sings the hook and I cringe but I know that some people would think some of the singers I listen to are terrible.) The keyboards and drum machine that back every song aren’t really musically interesting in any way that I can hear – but then I think most music that repeats the exact same melody and / or rhythm over and over again isn’t musically interesting…
The other thing is that a number of the songs are pretty short; they feel unfinished. And the whole record feels short. There are 8 tracks and honestly it might be under 20 minutes in length or something. Not 100% sure what the length is, but it’s really short. It’s the length of a modern EP, me thinks.
Anyway, I was going to link to the guy’s website to at least give a link back, but I cannot find it.
So here it is. My first ever hip hop review (I think). It’s a doozy.
If you want to listen to it, by all means, let me know.