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.