Category Archives: Music

KiD CuDi Man on the Moon Review: Mr. Solo Dolo THROWS DOWN.

kid-cudi-man-on-the-moon

I’ve had this album for about a week now, but I’ve been putting off reviewing it. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I have so much to say about Kid Cudi’s debut album that I don’t even know where to start. I have a tendency to ramble, and I don’t want this post to be too long. But I’m going to give it a try because this album is absolutely fantastic, and everyone needs to hear about it.

Kid Cudi is not your typical rapper. He’s a 25 year old film school dropout from Cleveland, Ohio. Normally, this would affect his street cred as a hip hop artist, but in this case, it works to his advantage. This is because Cudi doesn’t rap about the typical subject matter we’ve come to expect from the big names in the hip hop industry, rather the opposite. Instead of talking about how much money he has, what kind of cars he pushes or how many girls he lays, he talks about how he is a sensitive loner type who wants to be somebody. And this is one of the best qualities of the album. You can actually relate to him.

The other fascinating concept that adds to the appeal of the album is the way it is laid out. Cudi’s used 15 tracks to literally tell a story about himself, his life, and his aspirations. And when I mean literally, I mean the album has an introduction, a body and a conclusion. It’s structured so that the lyrics and the music of each song is representative of 15 different chapters of a story. Sounds kind of hard to wrap your head around, so this is why this is the first time I’m telling you that you have to listen to this album (I will be repeating this several times). The first song, “In my dreams”, is a bit of a prologue, and its dreamy, hypnotic beat is supposed to represent Cudi dreaming. The album really starts with song two, aptly titled “S0undtrack 2 my life”, where he wakes up from his dream and starts the introduction to his story. And coincidentally, this is one of the best, if not the best tracks on the album. He gives insight into his background, where he comes from, and what you can expect from the rest of the story, and he lays it down with easy-on-the-ears verses and a sick chorus. The next track, “Simple as…” is an upbeat song with a catchy hook that Cudi put in to contrast the deeper, darker music on the rest of the album. He said that he wanted to throw in a “fun” track before he got to the more emotional music. Cue the next song…”Mr. Solo Dolo”. Cudi calls this song a nightmare (like the first track was a dream..this is his first nightmare on the album), and the beat is downright eery. He has done incredibly well giving you insight into the dark corners of his mind, and his alter ego, Mr. Solo Dolo refers to “feeling alone and just making all the wrong decisions…and feeling worthless”. He is referring to a certain chapter in his life. Incredible song.

kid cudi

The next couple of songs are the body of the story. “Heart of a Lion” and “My World” are good tracks, but are not standout singles (you have to listen to the cd to understand). “Day and Night” is the second nightmare, and I’m sure you’ve all heard it by now, being the first single on the album. Crazy song, but the Crookers remix is better. Cudi describes it as a song that has something for everyone, and any person that listens to it should be able to relate. “The Sky Might Fall”, produced by Kanye, is another upbeat track, and the uplifting lyrics are meant to reach out to you in “your darkest hour when you’re just looking for hope, you’re looking for answers”. Another unbelievable song. Immediately following this is the worst song on the cd. “Enter Galactic” is out of place and random, and really doesn’t fit with the rest of the album. But Cudi redeems himself immediately after with “Alive”, in which he describes himself “turning into a beast” in the third nightmare on the album. The beat in this song is addictive…like, black tar heroin addictive. There is a distinct sound of someone swinging a nunchuk in the backbeat of the song, and you just can’t get enough of it. The lyrics and the hook is equally addictive, and this is also a rival for the best song on the cd. But this is where the album dwindles down. “Make her Say” (also known as Poke her Face), is a collab with Kanye and Common that is a great listen, but gets old quickly. The next two chapters are kinda boring. The final song, the conclusion, is called “Up, up and Away (The wake & bake song)” , and is exactly that. It’s Cudi waking up from his dream-and-nightmare-addled sleep, smoking dope and starting his day. Really upbeat, and a great way to end the story.

In MY conclusion, I should note that every song is good. In its own way, every song on the album is good. (except for Enter Galactic). So if I made it seem as though any of the songs were forgettable, I apologize. They might not be songs that you will listen to over and over again, but they tie the album together well. The nightmares absolutely stand out as the shining stars on the album. Cudi’s dark side also happens to be his most intriguing. Lyrically, he is by no means the best rapper you’ve ever heard, or even the second best. But he understands music as an entity. He understands that words and music put together is what makes an album…not just words, and not just music. You REALLY need to listen to the album to understand what I mean. As a first effort, Kid Cudi deserves a huge amount of credit for coming out of nowhere, and instead of being another “me too” rapper, creating something that people might hate, but is totally unique. I will tell you, when I first started listening to the album, I had no expectations whatsoever. Day n Night was a fantastic single, but alot of the stuff I’d heard from Cudi on the mixtape circuit was sub-par. This album blew me away, and now I cant stop listening to it. My honest opinion is to bypass Itunes on this one and go to the store and buy the album. The cover artwork is amazing, and I’m all about supporting up and coming rappers who do something unique. I’ll end off with a quote from Cudi that will either make or break your decision to listen/buy the album. “i dont consider myself a genius, but i aint a dummy either…if u like my music its not gonna b bcuz of some witty line i said or me bein political, its gonna b bcuz u connect with me as a person n u relate 2 my story at the same puttin yaself n my SB Dunks u feel me?…dats it.”

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Talk and talk and talk and talk, Kanye let’s just knock it off…

kanyedouche

Surprise, surprise. Another awards show, another Kanye West outburst. This guy is a real class act. People seem to be shocked and appalled about Kanye’s behaviour tonight, but the fact is, the guy has been an a**hole ever since his second album dropped. Fame went to his head early, and apparently his simple mind couldn’t handle it. He truly believed that since some people liked him, EVERYBODY MUST like him. So the first time he failed to win an award that he believed was rightfully his, he threw a hissy fit like a little girl, ran on stage and complained about it. On another occasion, he accused MTV of being racist, saying that Britney Spears got to open the 2007 MTV VMA’s  instead of him because “Maybe [his] skin’s not right”. He also vowed never to come back to MTV after that show, because he failed to capitalize on any of the 5 nominations he had on the night.

Well I’m sure tonight, MTV wished he kept his word. Like, this guy must be retarded…he must have damaged some braincells in his head when he got in that car crash. What the HELL are you doing storming the stage when America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift, is collecting her first ever VMA? Everyone from a goddamn baby to a granny loves Taylor Swift, and you think the kind of people that love Taylor Swift are going to put up with some hotheaded idiot running on stage and essentially denouncing her award? What a fantastic way to get alot of people to hate you. The only visible damage from his car accident is that f**ked up Minnie Driver jaw, but I am now convinced that he dont do math that good no more. The guy’s plain stupid.

Here are 10 reasons why Kanye West is NOT as amazing as he thinks he is.

1. Before he started rapping, he produced for Jay Z. (thats not the reason he’s not amazing…keep reading) Well he basically begged Jay Z to sign him as a rapper, and Jay Z refused for over two years.. The guy COULD NOT get a record deal with one of his BEST FRIENDS, for over TWO YEARS. Real recognizes real…and Jay Z did not recognize Kanye as real enough.

2. His 1st album (which im sure Jay Z only released on Roc-a-Fella because he felt bad for Kanye after his car accident), is indicative of why Jay Z didn’t sign him in the first place. The guy COULD NOT RAP. Go ahead, have a listen, Kanye’s lyrical ability on “College Dropout” is equivalent to that of a 3 year old asian kid who was taught english by a two year old asian kid. It’s downright laughable.

3. Kanye’s girlfriend (who looks like someone slapped Dennis Rodman’s head on a vegas stripper whore’s body and shoved two hocks of ham in her ass cheeks) is quoted as saying “The best sex is the sex I have with myself, to be honest”. Ouch.

4. The self proclaimed fashion icon was denied entry into a Balenciaga fashion show last year.

5. Don’t forget his epic SNL performance.

6. In an interview with VIBE magazine, Kanye is quoted as saying “I wanna make popular music, but I want less fans”. This makes about as much sense as a blind kid with binoculars.

7. In another interview, he says “I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice. It’s me settling into that position of just really accepting that it’s one thing to say you want to do it and it’s another thing to really end up being like Michael Jordan.”

8. He’s a porn addict. His own mother scolded him for spending over 500 dollars in a porn store.

9. The new “Air Yeezy” shoe, designed by him. More like Air Gump.

10. Look what happens when you put “Kanye West is” into Google. ’nuff said.

kanye west is

Blueprint III Review: Retirement is long overdue.

JAYZ

People seem to have a problem with criticising Jay Z. This is likely due to the fact that the man is a hip hop legend and has done incredibly well for himself, what with over 26 million records sold in the US alone, and 10 studio albums before this one, every one going platinum. He has also proven himself a diligent businessman, hitting #7 on last years Forbe’s top 100 richest celebrities, co-owning an nba team and becoming (as well as retiring from) CEO of Def Jam Records.

But when you write a review on  an album, none of this is supposed to matter. A review should be a completely unbiased account of the music on the disc, and these sorts of things should not have any bearing whatsoever on the verdict of a review. So now that I’ve given Jay Z credit where credit is due, let me move on to tell you about his latest effort, The Blueprint III.

Rather than give more background on the life and times of Jay Z, I’m just going to get right into it. This album did not, in any way shape or form, live up to my expectations. And my expectations were not particularly high, considering the quality of his last two albums.

But im going to start with the good, rather than turn this into a Jay Z bashing post. The majority of the beats on this album are nothing short of unbelievable. When the contributors to your album are some of the best the industry has to offer, you expect a certain level of quality, but even that expectation is surpassed. “D.O.A (Death To Autotune)” is hands down one of the craziest beats produced in a good while, but Swizz Beatz delivers in a serious fashion with “On to the Next One”, as does Timbaland with “Venus vs. Mars”. There are others that are quite catchy, but these three take the top medals.

The other highlight of this album is some of the standout performances from the featured artists. “Run This Town” is my favourite song on the cd (which is surprising, as it is one of the only two singles on the radio), but its no thanks to Jay Z. Rihanna’s chorus is perfect, and gets your head bumping almost immediately. Her voice is haunting, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing a better job with the beat she was supplied. She makes the song what it is (and I’m not a huge Rihanna fan). Kanye West’s verse on this track is arguably the best verse on the whole CD. (“This the fast life, we are on a crash course, what you think I rap for, to push a f**cking Rav 4?”) He betters anything Jay Z has to offer, but we will get back to that in a minute. Drake’s performance on “Off That” is decent, but doesn’t showcase his mindboggling lyrical skills in the least. Young Jeezy, Kid Cudi and Pharrell also feature (as well as others that dont even need to be mentioned), but their contributions were not indicative of what they’ve proven they can do. Still, they provided a refreshing alternative to Jay Z himself.

And that, my friends, is the problem with this album. Jay Z. The majority of his verses are just gibberish, and lack the captivating story-telling style that he’s become famous for. His flow is respectable in a couple of songs, sometimes even enjoyable. His defining moment is on Swizz Beatz’ “On to the Next One”, but even then, the lyrical prowess that we have come to expect from Jay is non-existant, therefore pushing me to the conclusion that it might actually be extinct. “Venus vs Mars” is another highlight, but I use the term “highlight” loosely. its more like a “midlight”. The rest of his verses on the album are forgettable at best, often times annoying.

But nothing is more annoying than the bragadocious, egotistical rants that congest the Blueprint III. Jay Z’s boisterous attitude towards himself and his achievements is the demise of this album. The man rants on and on about how much he’s done, and how much he’s made, and how he’s now friends with the president. Essentially, he’s so busy rapping about how real he is, and how much better he is than everyone else, that he fails to realize that him and his style are outdated. He makes it blatantly obvious that he thinks he’s gods gift to hip hop, and he has returned (yet again, the goddamn man won’t die he’s like a retirement zombie) to save hip hop, as it is currently dead without him. Get a clue. Lil Wayne gave the best rebuttal, saying “I don’t like what he’s saying about how he had to come back because hip hop’s dead and we need him… What the f**k do you mean? If anything it’s reborn, so he’s probably having a problem with that. You left on a good note, and all of the artists were saying, ‘Yo, this is Jay’s house. He’s the best.’ Now he comes back and still thinks it’s his house… It’s not your house anymore, and I’m better than you”.

The whole album makes Jay Z sound like that stereotypical old, senile grandpa that barks at his grandkids about “When he was young, he did this and this and that and blah blah blah”. Like, we get it already. Haven’t you heard the saying “let your accomplishments speak for you”? You dont see Bill Gates running up to every microphone he sees and desperately explaining what he’s done and how much money he has….if you want to hang with the distinguished folk of the world (and we all know Jay Z does), then act like one of them, not one of the people you returned to “save hip hop from”! It seems that ever since he became buddy buddy with Obama, he’s started to act like the arrogant younger kid that no one likes thats gained a sense of importance by hanging out with the older kids in the schoolyard. Get over yourself.

Conveniently enough, Jay Z has even made concluding this review mighty easy, by including the last song on the album, called “Young Forever”. It is a remake of Alphaville’s “Forever Young” (you know, the one from Napoleon Dynamite), and it is hilariously fitting, as the chorus repeats over and over “I want to be, forever young”. This is the epitome of Jay Z’s mindset. He is the Peter Pan of the hip hop world, never wanting to grow up and desperately holding on to all his past experiences and achievements. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, there is something wrong with subjecting us to listen to him rant on and on about it, trying everything he can to prove he is still relevant. The music on the album, as well as the guest appearances prove it be worth a listen, but not a buy. My verdict? Pirate Bay, not Itunes.

Down Under… Rock is all they got


People from Australia (or aleins from austria…. austr-aliens… terrible) must listen to ACDC and only ACDC while they make babies. It seems that the most notable releases to hit our part of the world are rock and only rock. I am not complaining as it is my listen of choice; it’s just strange, no? ANYWAYS… Jet (“Are you gonna be my girl”, “Cold Hard bitch”, “Put your money where your mouth is”) Have released their third studio album “Shaka Rock”. Upon hearing their first single “She’s a Genius” I was looking forward to the album. Not because I thought it was superb, but I was hoping it would be better. Since that first listen I grew into the song, and I must say the album did surpass my expectations. They ditched the Beatles thing they tried to pull off on their second album and went back to the dirt. If you havn’t heard “She’s a Genius” check it out at http://www.myspace.com/jet.

Now check this video out for “K.I.A” off the new album as well. Quite gruesome… as well as awesome.

I suggest getting the album.

Theory-of-a-nickel-creed

Seriously Scott Stapp? Almost a decade since their last recording, the laughing stock of the music industry somehow made his way back into the studio in an attempt to poison the airwaves once more… Creed has a new album coming out October 27th. Not going to lie. The single is actually pretty good. I mean, he still sounds like the Eddie Vedder rip off he was coined as back in the day. However, the production and songwriting are overall quite good. Maybe I will get the album, grab a large bottle of my favorite something and take a trip back to 1997. With ears wide open… Ha!