Friday, July 14, 2006

Rhymin' Festival!

"Blue Collar"

Rhymefest is probably best known for penning "Jesus Walks" for every hipster's favorite rapper, Kanye West. But behind that notoriety, Rhymefest is a fairly headstrong emcee in his own right. "Blue Collar" is a bombastic debut, the kind of album would've been big in the 1990's, but due to the destructive nature of contemporary hip-hop, this record might go gold (emphasis on might).

"Collar" opens up with the huge-sounding "Dynomite." This is a pretty hard song to follow up on since the lyrics are strong and the beat is just classic golden age hip-hop. The anti-girl track "Stick" samples the shit out of Run-DMC's "Peter Piper," but given the song's topic, I doubt Rev. Run would approve of this song; if not for the beat, actually, I wouldn't give the song a second spin. There's also an amuzing reworking of the old Foundations song "Build Me Up Buttercup" featuring a very dead Ol' Dirty Bastard. I would liken it to the Biz's "Just a Friend." It's that good.

For the most part, "Blue Collar" is stronger than your typical hip-hop release. It would be a very consistent record if "Chicago-Rillaz" was omitted from the tracklisting, but the strength of the beats and Rhymefest's lyrics really makes that song a small shortcoming in an otherwise great debut album.


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