Friday, August 22, 2008

Large Pro - Main Source - @@@@ 1/2

In an age where today’s audience and run of the mill record labels are looking for the next catchy sensation, many previously established veterans continue producing material reflecting an undying love for an era where authenticity reigned supreme. For nearly two decades now, Large Professor has made it his mission to carry New York’s spirit through Hip-Hop’s various dominant pop phases such as jiggy and crunk to name a few. Despite industry setbacks Large Pro has kept his name present with guest appearances and production credits spanning both the underground and major releases. His latest album Main Source finds inspiration coming from his career’s original essence as Large Pro is continually determined to keep his legend alive.

The album finds Large Pro refusing to compromise his sound as he has always strayed far from convention and taken care to uphold his own set musical standards. He shows no care or desire for a presence on today’s radio as he employs his tried but true method of boom-bap aggression on "Hot: Sizzling, Scorching, Torching, Blazing", and stays in tune with the plight of the everyman as "Maica Living" details the rat race of the daily grind. Artistic purity has been a long running theme in Large’s work and he continues rolling with the “If it aint broke…” mentality as "Hardcore Hip Hop" and "Classic Emergency" both unleash fury in response to the culture’s present state of endangerment. While fully intent on staying rooted in the sounds of old with "Pump Ya Fist" and the funky "In The Ghetto", he also shows he can come up to speed with today’s scene on "Frantic Barz".

With Main Source Large Pro manages to prove that long standing pillars can remain relevant as he succeeds where other legends have failed to make marks of substance in this day and age. While the album’s only drawback is the lack of structured hooks, that doesn’t nearly take away from his concise understanding of the everyday Hip-Hop traditionalist’s need for music that serves of a reminder of when quality was far easier to come by.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Asher Roth – The Greenhouse Effect Vol. 1 - @@@

Purists generally decry the sad state of affairs where Hip-Hop seems to be the only musical genre leaving behind its relatively elder statesmen and failing to uphold established veterans. Meanwhile, casual fans find necessity in the figurative separation of chaff from wheat as corporate interests pander to the teenybopper video countdown era and the industry continues churning out new beacons of hope like clockwork. Asher Roth is the latest melanin deficient chap with a buzz and hopes of furthering former Loud Records chieftain Steve Rifkind’s reputation of having a wise and watchful eye for talent. The Greenhouse Effect Vol. 1 hosted by Don Cannon & DJ Drama serves as Roth’s formal introduction to the world.

If the most genuine stories traditionally come as a product of a rapper’s experiences within his environment, Asher Roth’s authenticity can’t possibly be called into question. However, he is an anomaly of sorts as the life he knows best is a world far separated from whatever made Vanilla Ice presumably too cool for school, Eminem’s angst originating from the gutters of Detroit, and the New York street based stylings of 3rd Bass. Asher hails from the suburbs of Philadelphia, mainly fashioning himself the happy go lucky type who doesn’t take himself serious with this collection of remakes and verses over already popular instrumentals. While he employs a decent flow and can put his words together well, he doesn’t say really much of anything turning Jay-Z ‘s celebration of prosperity into a suburban jamboree on “Roth Boys”. Roth is no different from most rappers in coming off as his own biggest fan on “Cannon” where his vocals can be likened to Eminem the way Shyne sparked certain reminders of Biggie, but he’s hardly clever or engaging rather than zany and content to wearing his race on his sleeve. “The Lounge” is his most impressive effort, where he differentiates between his image and that of most rappers, but this project’s main theme is juvenile banter like the potty mouthed “Rub On Your T*tties” and “Gimme Your Box”.

With The Greenhouse Effect Vol. 1, Asher Roth proves that alternatives to the norm don’t necessarily fall within the upper tier of quality music, as he demonstrates a serious incapability when it comes to making songs of substance. While he may make his mark throughout the burbs and potentially with the hipster crowd, time will only tell what shall become of an enigmatic white boy without street cred and the Interscope/Aftermath machine behind him.

Friday, August 01, 2008

If you didn't know, I also host a weekly podcast.

You get to hear me talk (I think I'm funny and insightful) and play music (I have good tastes, I promise)

Here's this week's show and here's the page where you can get older episodes

But no one really cares.