audio review : Bruce Wayne [ Gothom City 1987 ] ( album ) … Esham

audio review : Bruce Wayne [ Gothom City 1987 ] ( album ) ... Esham

I don’t know what the 1987 bit is about; he says that’s when he “came up”; but Gothom City is Detroit, which makes Esham Bruce Wayne. Batman is, of course, a member of The Justice League and the rapper embraces a life of crime. Perhaps the moniker has to do with the fact that they’re both millionaires with a thing for sexy women.

“We can fuck like animals, bitch, I’m not soft,” he tells one before vowing to “take the dick out the pussy and jack the fuck off… all over your body.” How’s that for romance? When he’s not chasing females, or fading “that little pussy like Telly Savalas”, he’s riding down 7 Mile Road in his Volvo 850 with a heavy stash of cash, drugs and guns.

There are almost enough good songs here to make a short album; You Betta Ask Somebody, a fun summer anthem based on Rock With You by Michael Jackson, is easily the best of the bunch; but Esham revels in excess, so he gives us another album with too many songs on it. There are some demos near the end he didn’t even bother to title.

my rating : 3 of 5


audio review : Scribble ( album ) … Esham

audio review : Scribble ( album ) ... Esham

The “S” in the title is stylized with a dollar sign, so the final song makes sense. Too bad its melody is lifted from a Prince song. Esham has never been particularly creative as a music artist and that’s part of the problem here. His bars are decent enough; on rare occasion, even surprisingly profound; but his hooks and overall concepts leave a lot to be desired. At 43 years old, the Detroit native is a lot less mischievous, thus less interesting, than he used to be. The rapper who once portrayed himself as an entity from Hell apparently wants to be a Christian role model.

“I don’t want to live like I used to live,” he says at one point, “I don’t want to be the peson I used to be.” That may be a major disappointment for long-time fans, but they can take solace in the fact that he’s not fully converted as of yet. Black Sheep sounds like vintage Esham. It also features one of the album’s best beats, along with Time Card and Organic. Esham’s music production, as crude as it sounds when it comes to the technical art of mixing and mastering, is still the best thing about him as an artist, though he sometimes sways too far into druggy experimentation.

my rating : 3 of 5