audio review : Comfort And Joy ( EP ) … Tinashe

audio review : Comfort And Joy ( EP ) ... Tinashe

There are few things as corny and cliché as people singing traditional Christmas songs. Sex toy Tinashe is no exception. At least this isn’t a full album. Not that there aren’t any good renditions.

Merry Gentlemen, from which the set title is inspired, and The Christmas Song sound nice. Most of the others do better as background music while wrapping gifts or drinking eggnog.

my rating : 3 of 5

2020

audio review : The Sneak Attack ( album ) … KRS-One

audio review : The Sneak Attack ( album ) ... KRS-One

This is KRS-One’s first album since leaving Jive; the major record label he’d been with since By All Means Necessary, which the “contradictory” Teacha also held a gun on the cover of. What this Koch debut brings is what sounds like a much lower school budget compared to his previous set, I Got Next, which included as a bonus song a remix with Puff Daddy.

There are no guest rappers here, but The MC is lyrically as “fresh” as ever. What’s stale are some of these beats and hooks. What Kinda World, Get Your Self Up and Krush Them are particularly banal. The Lessin is a good one though and the Sneak Attack title song is a banger. The album also ends with two standouts; False Pride and The Raptizm.

my rating : 3 of 5

2001

audio review : Extinction Level Event 2 [ The Wrath Of God ] ( album ) … Busta Rhymes

audio review : Extinction Level Event 2 [ The Wrath of God ] ( album ) ... Busta Rhymes

It seems absurd for an Extinction Level Event to have a sequel after just 22 years; The Final World Front wasn’t so final; but here we have it, which isn’t to say it doesn’t sometimes come close to justifying its existence. Busta Rhymes, now a Leader of the old school, still brings the boom-bap; vintage hip-hop producers featured here include 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, DJ Premier and DJ Scratch; and his flamboyant rap style still sounds fresh after all these years.

With that, ELE2 sounds damn good when it’s just Busta Rhyming to a beat. He says Czar is “music for riots” and, though his groupthink ideology in regard to race and religion suggest he’s more of a boneheaded caveman, it gets you amped enough to be just that. Boomp sounds even better. What the album would be better without is the bombastic Intro, ill-fitting song interpolations; he resurrects ODB and BBD; silly skits and irky Chris Rock monologues.

my rating : 3 of 5

2020

audio review : Wu-Tang Forever ( album ) … Wu-Tang Clan

audio review : Wu-Tang Forever ( album ) ... Wu-Tang Clan

This album presents Wu-Tang Clan as not just a rap group but a cultural and spiritual movement, though Islam is the religion of choice and mere men are referred to as “god”. It’s a “double CD” of what Rza describes as hip-hop “in the purest form”. That’s a boastful claim, but it’s one that’s hard to argue against when it comes to the beats; raw lo-fidelity New York City slum music.

The verses; there are no nonaffiliate guest rappers; are consistently on-point, especially in the case of Rza. He’s my favorite rapper in the group, despite his mumble-mouth speech impediment. It’s the hooks, not so much the silly Kung Fu samples or sloppy mixing and mastering, that flaw the set. Reunited is a grand opener though and Bells Of War is one of their best songs.

my rating : 3 of 5

1997