Aesop Rock – Labor Days (2001)

Aesop Rock – Labor Days (2001)

The Modern Classic

The Modern Classic

A forewarning, there’s a trigger word in 9-5er’s Anthem.  Aesop Rock, a classic in the underground white boy scene.   New Yorker, who still held a day job as of 2001, has rhymes that are often complex, frequently referring to mythology and pop culture, and dense. His voice is so unique there’s no doubt when you’re hearing Aesop Rock spit his rhymes. Also impressive, Aesop Rock produced about half the tracks himself, the other half being Blockhead (Coma, track eight, having been produced by Omega One).

Labor Days is the second most recently popular album on Last.FM, holds a 4.28 out of 5 on Discogs.com, an official four and a half stars on AllMusic.com, and a user voted four and a half stars on AllMusic.com.  Much like RJD2′s Deadringer, the album deserves every single hot vote.  And, lucky for you, it’s ALL ON YOUTUBE!

Labor: Pass

First, holy shit.  “Who put the monkey wrench in well-oiled perfectionist emblem/Just to watch these monitors spit white noise through your office space/Automater, I infect jolly gene pool descendant clown-clusters/Brushing dust mites off your starving art revolution sound jugglers.”  That’s the opening rhyme.  Aesop Rock clearly isn’t going to pull punches on this album.  If you have a hard time understanding him (the only complaint there could feasibly be) seriously listen to the album with RapGenius open, and read every…  single…  lyric.

Daylight: Pass

Read the lyrics.  Go ahead.  He calls out rappers dropping the word bitch while at the same time creating a positive affirmation for life NOT being terrible, “Life’s not a bitch, life is a beautiful woman/You only call her a bitch because she won’t let you get that pussy/Maybe she didn’t feel y’all shared any similar interests/Or maybe you’re just an asshole who couldn’t sweet talk the princess.”  For all of the sadness that drips through the spaces in between in the song, he’s got a good outlook on it all.  If you’re going to get drunk in a bar because life’s tough, this is the song you want on the jukebox.

Aesop 2

Save Yourself: Pass

A perfect beat to go with the lyrics.  Blockhead did a damn fine job on this track, and that’s not taking into account again the densely packed organic rhymes that Aesop Rock is throwing your way.  “Keep me posted as to when you grasp something mature to/Sit and sulk about mister, and I’ll consider picking up your record.”

Flashflood: Pass

Seriously, an album of heavy hitters.  It deserves every five out of five it gets.  Blockhead again kills it on the production, and Aes Rock…  This is possibly his Ulyses, because there’s no way he can keep up this amount of talent on all material (though in the bits and pieces I’ve listened to he gets close).  This song will undoubtedly be going into my playlist.

Aesop 3

No Regrets: Pass

A song with a female lead AND it’s not sexist?  I’ll push this song onto my feminist friends to argue the value of hip-hop AND how some rappers aren’t the chauvinist pigs that seem to promulgate the genre.  Not to mention, it’s a great introduction to Aesop Rock, his rhymes are a little less dense which works in his favor.  Plus he’s not killing it with speed.  “You can dream a little dream or you can live a little dream/I’d rather live it, cause dreamers always chase but never get it.”  This is another one that’s going onto my playlist.

One Brick Feat. Illogic: Pass

I got scared, Aes Rock was featuring another rapper…  As previous experience has shown, features can fail a track, but Illogic seems like he was designed by God himself to come to this earth and spit rhymes on this track with Aesop Rock.  “But from the pregnancy of my hardship was born style/Still my pen bleeds and stains the paper with thought/Finding me lost among statues of mainstream idols/Drowning in melted ice, to reinforce that breath is vital.”

Aesop 4

The Tugboat Complex, Pt 3: Pass

Aesop Rock doesn’t need to prove himself at this point, but he decided to add a song where he goes ahead and does that anyway, and proves himself so hard he fails.  Many of the lyrics in this song don’t make sense, it’s a little too thick, like a thousand page novel that in the end you realize the only point was to say, “Hey, I can write.”

Coma: Pass

Now this song succeeds at seriously telling you how good Aes Rock is.  It’s easier to follow and listen to, and the metaphorical similes aren’t as shrouded in mystery as The Tugboat Complex, “You’re a fuckin’ wind-up toy/A goddamn four string criminal trading card/The reason they decorate the fonts of closing credits/To boost on-looker amusement after fading hard.”

Aesop 5

All good emcees are prepared to fly their WWII Fighters…

Battery: Pass

Aesop Rock produced his own track not only well, but nearly perfectly.  There’s a horn in between verse one and two, then at the end.  It’s beautiful when paired with the lyrics.  Again, Aes Rock proves he’s not only worth his mettle, but twice as good as some of the best.

Boombox: Pass

The obligatory song where he insults other rappers, and I’ll be fucking damned if he doesn’t nail it.  This song is a testimony again to how much Aesop Rock rocks ace.  “Well, when the rumor spreads that y’all stupid/I’ll be the cat with guilty look on face and shirt that reads: I didn’t do it!/God, is it on, is it beyond basic?/Does it ice grill you or is every song faceless?/Does it have a title?  If it didn’t would you name it?/Does it babble about nothing like a drunk atheist?”

Aesop 6

Bent Life Feat. C-Rayz Walz: Pass

C-Rayz Walz could have failed this song…  And he didn’t.  This song along with One Brick make me want to check out Illogic and C-Rayz Walz’s material to see if their not sexist, or if Aesop Rock told them not to be.  The fact that no one is dropping any sexist material is actually making these raps tighter.  They’re not only opening the door to fifty percent of the population, but they’re also not relying on weak rhymes that every other rapper spits.  It gives them extra syllables to play with, and Aesop Rock, C-Rayz Walz, and Illogic have played with the time well.

The Yes and the Y’all: Pass

Aes Rock just wants to kill all other emcees flows and stand supreme wearing a crown of hip-hop thorns.  “If you had one more eye, you’d be a cyclops/Which explains missing the premise.”  In case my fanboy hasn’t bled through my words yet, I’ll be a hip-hop Christian when Aesop Rock dies, comes back, and judges all Emcees.

If my review doesn't make you want to listen to this album yet, perhaps a cat will be proper incentive...

If my review doesn’t make you want to listen to this album yet, perhaps a cat will be proper incentive…

9-5ers Anthem: Fail

I’m having a hard time with rappers poetically using rape.  One one hand, I want to pass them for not actually saying that they’re raping someone and saying that we’re, “raping Earth,” but we live in a rape culture.  A significant portion of the American female population has been raped, and I’m running along the lines that this is a product of rape culture.  So I’m going to fail this song, being the hard ass that I am, but really you should judge the song yourself.

Shovel: Pass

You know, you don’t get many better closers than this song.  The beat, produced by Blockhead sounds like an album closer, the rhymes are clearly a closer, and…  It just blows my mind how awesome this is.  It really just made me take a step back and reflect on the entirety of the album.  The beat’s subtleties, Aesop’s hook here, and the overall feeling it leaves you with (if it doesn’t leave you with feelings read a book so you can become smart enough for this album, OR, your a sociopath).

the letter a copy

Conclusion

The album is 92% not derogatory.  And it’s brilliant at passing.  It gets a solid A, and I’m not left drunk and crying.  It was actually enjoyable to review, and I’m really looking forward to reviewing more of his albums in the future.  Perhaps Hail Mary Mallon or The Uncluded soon, two of his side projects.

Like this review?  Hate this review?  Follow me on Facebook for updates to share with friends or to spam me with hate mail.

Sage Francis – A Healthy Distrust (2005)

Sage Francis – A Healthy Distrust (2005)

Image

Sage Francis!  Man, I loved this guy until I reviewed this album, it was disheartening to say the least.  The guys been attached to poetry slams and related events for years, so I expected something awesome.  A Healthy Distrust is the first most recently popular album on Last.FM.  It’s got a 4.29 out of 5 on Discogs, an official 4 out of 5 stars on AllMusic, a fan voted 4 and a half stars out of 5 on AllMusic.  For being as politically charged and poetry centric as he is I expected to find him on NPR music, but alas, this should have been a clue to his sexist tendencies…

The Buzz Kill: Fail

“I’m using women as a pin cushion.” ‘Nuff said.

Sea Lion: Pass

First, mad props to Alias of Anticon label fame for a dope beat full of emotion.  Second, mad props to Sage Francis for sick rhymes and ace delivery.  If you get the chance, listen to the extended mix with Saul WIlliams.  Even more awesome than the album version, and also passes.

Sage 7

Gunz Yo: Pass

A solid beat from Danger Mouse, but way more awesome feminist friendly rap mocking rappers for their fascination with guns.  Awesome.  Sarcastic lyrics and delivery, and I’d totally put this on a mixtape or playlist.

Escape Artist: Fail

Well.  It was a damn awesome song until he calls someone a pussy.

Sage 6

Product Placement: Pass

A cool desolate Alias beat with pretty decent Sage typical rhymes.  Not his best, but still better than most.

Dance Monkey: Pass

He’s got a verse about a stripper in here, but there’s nothing sexist about it, which is interesting because Slug can have a song damned in a word, but Sage gets a whole verse through without damning the song.  HOnestly, I feel like the mixing in the song is poor however, so despite passing I’m not sure I’d recommend it.

Sage 5

Voice Mail Bomb Threat: Fail

The voicemail drops bitch as an insult.

Sun Vs Moon: Fail

Damn awesome lyrics ruined by, “God’s not a woman/he’s a bitch.”  And as if that weren’t enough, later he drops, “Shit, pussy.”  I’d say this is NOT feminist friendly.  Unfortunately (Fortunately?) there’s no YouTube video except live performances.

Sage 4

Agony In Her Body: Fail

It essentially turns into the trope of, “she was a crazy bitch.”  Which isn’t feminist.  Or feminist friendly.  For being such a clever man, he really seems to be relying on some bullshit stereotypes.

Crumble: Fail

Another casual fail because of the lone word bitches.  A shame, it’s an awesome song aside from that.

Sage 3

Ground Control: Pass

I…  I had to think about this one.  And in the end I decided it passed.  There’s a line that goes, “I haven’t heard back from you since the gag order/what’s the matter/pussycat got your tongue?”  In the end, I honestly think he’s just referring to a pussycat, not a pussy and/or a cat.  Because that’s weird, and there’s no reason that I can find for a double entendre there.  So, awesome song, solid lyrics, well worth listening.

Lie Detector Test: Pass

Damn awesome song with a damned awesome beat (shout out to Reanimator).  Go listen to it.  Right now.  Trust me.  Somehow, because I could only find live versions on YouTube.

Sage 2

Bridle: Fail

If you take it that she’s a horse, the song could pass.  But it seems pretty obvious to me he’s not talking about a horse.  “They had a ceremony where he put her in a bridle.”  Preceding this, “I want you to be happy/and that’s like what it comes down to/but as one of my good friends in this world/and I hope whatever happens that/you will be, like, real happy/not sort of fake, like that kind of happy.”  Why would he be concerned about the realness of a horse?  I guess if he had a weird relationship with her, but that’s not the kind of shit I want to talk about here.

Slow Down Gandhi: Pass

I love political protest songs!  Especially ones that call out the unfair treatment of women.  “Underdogs with Wonderbras in a push up contest/All for the sake of military recruitment.”  Go ahead, read that a couple times.  I’ve come up with three different meanings so far.  Seriously, tell me how YOU interpret it, i’m intrigued.  “Mr. Save the world, spare us the details/save the females from losing interest/and Miss Save the Universe/You’re a damsel in distress/Tied down to a track of isolated incidents.”  Now, I wasn’t sure how to take this initially, but the more I read this as an isolated lyric, I really think he’s calling women to Feminism.  How do you take it?  I’m curious, again, share it!

Sage 1

Jah Didn’t Kill Johnny: Pass

Fucking.  Awesome.  Song.  Sage pleading for g-d to not kill any more of his friends, counting Johnny Cash amongst them.  Clever.  Fun.  Totally worth at least a listen.

Image

Overall?  Damn it Sage, you’re only 53% NOT DEROGATORY.  You get an F.  And you’re better than Eyedea and Abilities.  Come on.  This is really disappointing.  Sage Francis is KNOWN for his politically charged raps.  So why does he let so much sexist material past?  Does he need to read Manifesta with P.O.S.?  Then again, P.O.S. – Audition blew Sage Francis – A Healthy Distrust out of the water.  Go ahead and read the review!

Maybe I just need to listen to some newer Sage, see if things have changed…

RJD2 – Deadringer (2002)

RJD2 Deadringer (2002)

RJD2 Deadringer

Deadringer is an instrumental hip-hop album.  I toyed with the idea of adding instrumental hip-hop albums to the list of albums I review, and decided I would.  As I discovered reviewing Eyedea and Abilities E&A, a sample can ruin a song as easily as a lazy lyricist.

Deadringer is the debut album of RJD2, released in the summer of 2002.  It’s currently holding the top two spots for most recently popular album on RJD2′s Last.FM page for it’s deluxe and regular versions.  I’ll be reviewing the regular version.  It’s got a 4.46 out of 5 on Discogs.com, a 4 and a half star official rating on AllMusic.com, and a 4 and a half star user rating on AllMusic.com.  I’m going to say before we go any further, that these reviews are all deserved.

The Horror: Pass

As far as opening tracks go, very few are absolutely as awesome and ear catching as this one.  It’s also pretty simple.  It’s called The Horror, and features samples from some great places like Scooby Doo and the Twilight Zone, plus a few more.  This is beyond a shadow of a doubt going on a playlist.

Salud: Pass

Not too much to say here.  It’s a sample proclaiming that it’s the sampled’s first album under their own name (Lol Coxhill for those curious).  It’s just a fun and interesting sample.  Don’t skip it, but you probably won’t be regularly listening to it either.

RJD2 5

Smoke And Mirrors: Pass

A nice, slightly jazzy, vaguely soul mix that’s incredibly reminiscent of DJ Shadow’s Entroducing.  That’s surely to be expected as his debut, Entroducing, not only popularized sample-based music, instrumental hip-hop, and turntablism, but is the absolute go-to guide on what sounds awesome when producing a sample based album.

Good Times Roll Pt 2: Pass

Again, good soul samples here.  It’s a smooth track, and it feels like it should be featured in a Quentin Tarentino film (get it?  Direct samples of other’s music being featured in a Tarentino film?).  I’ll definitely be adding this to my playlist of awesome and dancing to it while I do dishes and menial housework.  If you’re not entirely sold by the time the breakdown starts, listen to the break, then finish out the song.  The break is also smooth and hot, but deviates slightly from the already existent sounds.

RJD2 4

Final Frontier Ft. Blueprint: Pass

Again, a real smooth beat, but this time featuring hip-hopper Blueprint.  He’s voice is perfect for the beat, and his flow is smooth and has a nice old school feel to it while still hanging around in the today, not to mention he’s got some clever rhymes in the song itself.  “You’re not ill, and if you are/My notepad’s full of medicine/Plus my freestyle is Excedrin.”   This is getting added to the playlist.

Ghostwriter: Pass

This is the kind of instrumental hip-hop I typically look for.  It’s a collage of several songs, genres, styles, and it creates an awesome experience.  It starts off a little slow, but the second time you listen to it, knowing to expect the entirety of the song, the beginning is just a great light gray cloud to the pitch dark skies of awesome that will pour greatness upon you.  When it comes on shuffle, I don’t skip it, and I’ll be remembering it for quite a while.

RJD2 3

Cut out to FL: Pass

RJD2 has got some slick turntablism on this song.  It’s just…  It’s smooth.  It flows with the song much better than 95% of turntablism I’ve listened to (not to discredit turntablism or DJ’s who feature turntablism predominantly on their album, it’s just usually very in your face in comparison.  And I’m a huge fan of turntables and all things that come from them, I’ll get to Kid Koala and others of his ilk eventually.  All together, the song is just okay, despite the awesomeness of the understated turntables.  I’ll probably skip it half the time when it comes on shuffle.

F.H.H. Feat. Jakki the Motamouth: Fail

I’ve gotta say, for preaching that rappers rely too much on beats these days and let their weak rhymes slide, Jakki really let weak raps slide over a fucking smooth beat (smooth is pretty much the keyword for this album, it’s like a baby’s ass).  So, naturally, he drops the word bitch on a track that I would’ve added to a playlist for the beat.  Damn shame that rappers can’t see that insulting with insults like that is not only sexist, but biting on the same shit every other rapper bites.

RJD2 2

Shot In The Dark: Pass

Alright, this song totally puts an awesome sample of a children’s storybook on vinyl over a nice and dark beat.  I’ll be adding this to a playlist, but in a year or so I’ll probably take it off while material like Ghostwriter remains.

Chicken-Bone Circuit: Pass

A decent first half leading into a great build up during the second half.  Unfortunately, overall the song doesn’t leave me wowed.  It’s good, it took skill and a fantastic ear to make it, but…  There’s something missing in the overall.

RJD2 1

The Proxy: Pass

Yes, chill, smooth, groovy (as in has nice groove).  This is a lot like DJ Shadow’s Entroducing, the song sits on the tip of your tongue, but it’s not the song on your mind.  It’s something else, something less known, something only hipsters, RJD2, and DJ Shadow know.  This’ll be going onto a playlist.

2 More Dead: Pass

YESYESYES!  This song has got groove, a touch of funk, great soul vocals, and a disjointed juxtaposition between the happy sounding music and morbid vocal samples.  This song is grooving, and definitely going on a permanent playlist.

rjd2 8

Take The Picture Off: Pass

An interlude where RJD2 scratches and has a cute, funny sample at the end.  Nothing to write home about, but your first few times listening to the album I’ll almost guarantee you won’t be skipping it.

Silver Fox: Pass

I’ll be putting this song on a playlist for a while.  It’s again a nice track, I’ve found myself involuntarily nodding my head to the rhythm.  It’s a smooth groove, nice soft female vocals over a funky drum beat under some rhythmic bells and bass.  It shows what RJD2 was into at that time, like much of the album.

rjd2 7

June Feat. Copywrite: Pass

A tight feminist friendly rhyme over a nice beat.  The songs in two definite and separate parts.  The first part is Copywrite bragging about RJD2, “We don’t do shit for the clubs/Is for us 45s go, RJ’s the archaeologist diggin’ ‘em up/And I’m the saint sent/To vinyl when it gets set to bash.”  The middle is a collection of solos and fills that RJD2 uses to break up the verses, and all in all he’s got a very sombre feeling all about the song, like a cover of darkness.  Then Copywrite gets into his second verse, a rap about depression and his family woes that’s just good (not great, not bad, just good).  All together though, between the beat and the raps it’s a song I’m going to add to my playlist and keep shuffling through.

Work: Pass

Smooth soul vocals over smooth soul piano loops.  It’s a slow song, slow jam, and it’s growing on me.  The vocals with the guitar solos he sampled, it’s just a beautiful song.  I’d add it to a playlist in a heartbeat if it were by itself and didn’t feature a hidden track.

rjd2 6

Here’s What’s Left (Hidden Track): Pass

Yeah, like Work, if the pair of them didn’t come packaged as a twelve minute track I’d be putting each on my master playlist of awesome songs.  The vocals are smooth, smooth, smooth.  The music is going to make you nod your head to the rhythm, you’ll find your body rocking to the grooves whether you want to or not.

A For Art Powered A A Horror

Conclusion

With the scales I’ve been using the album gets a 93% not derogatory!  An A!  An A for the ambition and artistic talent locked within this album, a powered A for…  Nothing clever here.  And a scary A for the Horror!  With the number of samples RJD2 used, and featuring a few rappers this number could have been abysmally low.  All in all it’s a damn good album that you should check out.  Play it a bunch of times, when you start getting tired of the album on a whole put the songs you love the most in your playlists you love the most, and grow to fall in love with the album again every few years.

You like the review?  You hate the review?  Like me on Facebook to keep up with future posts to love or hate.

Mr. Lif – Emergency Rations (2002)

Mr. Lif – Emergency Rations (2002)

Mr. Lif Emergency Rations

An EP released by Bostonian Mr. Lif in 2002, Lif is a conscientious rapper and damn fine at it.  Emergency Rations is the fourth most recently popular album on Last.FM, a 4.18 out of 5 on Discogs.com, a four out of five stars officially on AllMusic.com, and four and a half stars out of five as voted by users on AllMusic.com.  You can also listen to the entire EP on YouTube.

Intro (Missing Person’s File) Feat. Akrobatik: Pass

Not a song, but a great intro that shoves it in your face, rubs it around, then punches you in the kidney with conscientiousness, then proceeds to scream in your face while you’re down on the ground crying, “Do you know that I give a shit about shit, man?”

Jugular Vein: Pass

Some dope rhymes on here, a hot beat, dark and and wandering. There’s not much to say about it; this particular track is pretty average.  It’s not bad, not great, but good.

Mr Lif 1

Heavy Artillery: Pass

This song is a lot like Jugular Vein; Lif is trying to tell you why he’s awesome.  And as far as songs involving bragging go, Lif’s is pretty solid.  “Imagine this: experiencing hell right after bliss/In this experiment I’m the catalyst/Welcome to the realms where money is God/And they tamper with your brain ’till you’re a spiritual fraud.”  I buy it- I’d probably put my money on Lif in a freestyle battle after this.

Home of the Brave: Pass

There’s something sad about an anti-Bush, anti- Afghanistan-war song still being relevant.  The song is awesome.  By the time this three minute forty six second track ended, my heart was heavy, which to me means that Mr. Lif succeeded.  This is a song I’ll be recommending.

Mr. Lif 2

Pull Out Your Cut: Pass

A sick track giving a shout out to classic hip-hop that influenced Lif.  Not only that but…  Well, he calls out sexism.  “Societal pressures can be imprisoning/Look at the effects that they have on us all is rather vividly/How many women you know with eating disorders?/How much makeup on the faces of our prepubescent daughters?/Dudes are acting macho and they don’t know why/A famous never-written motto is that “boys should never cry.”  This song is really what hip-hop’s about.  It’s a good beat, good rhymes, socially conscious, and fun to rock.

Get Wise ’91 Feat. Edan: Fail

Edan produced a funky track and raps the first verse.  It’s a solid rhyme, metaphorical and lays a good foundation for the rest of the track.  However…  He drops a line that’s inherently sexist, “Literature hurts when dealing with short skirts.”  I tried playing with the line, but no matter how you cut it up it’s either sexist or homophobic.  It’s a shame that someone who’s as aware of the bull around him as Mr. Lif features someone who’s going to drop some sexist shit like that.  Especially given that Mr. Lif’s verse serves Bush a huge silver platter of dis.

Mr. Lif 3

The Unorthodox: Pass

“See, I was stripped of my identity, conquered by the enemy/And now I’m faceless in the 21st century.”  It loops back to the intro, where it’s two of Mr. Lif’s friends talking about how he went missing (I love it when musicians and lyricists refer back to their own work).  That’s not even counting that it’s a good flow and rhyme over a pretty typical beat.

Mr. Lif 4

Phantom Feat. El-P: Pass

The song uses a LOT of reverb on the vocals, giving it the feeling of being presented in an auditorium or some such place.  It’s a great song on fading identities, “Single mother, who are you? (I, phantom.)/Office worker, who are you? (I Phantom)/Caught up in the system, who are you? (I, phantom.)/Tryin’ to earn a living, who are you? (I, phantom.).”  This is another charged powerful song that I’m going to put on my playlist to make sure I don’t forget that my identity isn’t handed to me, and that my social security number doesn’t eat my soul.

B For Boston B Grafiti B

87% not derogatory…  A B…  A B for Boston, where he’s from and who’s still got my sympathy.  A B in a circle, because all these years later we’re still worried about the same things.  And a graffiti B, because it looks cool.  You’d think, being so aware and preaching the condition of urban living and missing people, abusive cops, and political leaders ignoring the poor and hungry, he’d make sure that no one dropped any sexist rhymes.  It can be said that it wasn’t Lif who dropped it, but it’s his album: why’d he let it happen!  Like other politically charged underground rappers I think he needs to read Manifesta, especially since he claims he reads and skips TV.  Aside from that one slip up, I’d say the album deserves all of the ratings it got.

Liked this post?  Follow me on Facebook!  Stay updated on future posts, music, pictures, and more!

Eyedea And Abilities – E&A (2004)

Eyedea And Abilities – E&A (2004, caution, trigger word in Reintroducing and situation in Man Vs Ape)

Image

Before I go any further, I’m going to go ahead and warn that there’s a trigger word in Reintroducing as well as a possible trigger phrases in Man Vs Ape, so read ahead or listen at your own caution.  Eyedea and Abilities are an Emcee and DJ combo that tried to create a hip hop album with a classic sort of flow, while this is a bit of a departure for DJ Abilities, displaying more sampling and layers in his beats.  Eyedea passed away in 2010 in his sleep from “Opiate Toxicity.”  Currently, E&A is Eyedea and Abilities second most recently popular album on Last.FM.  It has a 4.19 out of 5 on Discogs, is not officially reviewed by AllMusic, but has a a 4 out of 5 star user rating.  You can also conveniently listen to the entire album on YouTube.

Reintroducing: Fail

Fails for so many reasons.

Now: Pass

Not great lyricism, but a solid example of a good flow.  A great two turntables and a mic song.

Kept: Pass

Another fun track, two turntables and a mic again.

Exhausted Love: Pass

Another fun track, two turntables and a mic, with better rhymes and some fancy turntable work on the second half of the song.  It also contains a solid sample from the movie Altered States at the end.

Star Destroyer: Fail

So, before I go to any sexism, the word fa**ot gets dropped, which as far as I’m concerned is about as not feminist friendly as you can get next to sexism itself.

Paradise: Fail

It’s in the same vein as Lifter Puller or Always Coming Back Home To You by Atmosphere, and is an awesome song devoid of sexism.  You know, until you get 6:20 in, or, six minutes and twenty seconds, and there’s a sample that claims, “Women don’t want you to love them.”  Which of course is gender stereotyping, and not cool.

One Twenty: Pass

A song demonstrating a solid flow over a fun beat.

Man Vs. Ape: Fail

I was a little torn on this track.  It makes fun of a stereotyped Christian male, which is all good until he states that he pickets abortion clinics, wants a woman in the kitchen, and will kill her if she challenges him.  Not even in humor or political statement are any of these things cool.

Get Along: Pass

It’s a fun, stupid sample over a jazzy beat.  Brief, and not sexist.

Two Men And A Lady: Fail

A collection of samples for three minutes and change objectifying, slut shaming, and generally planned out in a manner that would seem as if they had decided to PURPOSELY make a song as awkward as possible.

E&A Day: Fail

Slut shaming!  That’s cool in hip-hop, right?  I mean, we talk about how sex is cool, then shame a slut!  Boom!

Act Right: Fail

Objectification.  There may be more, but after Two Men and a Lady and E&A day I didn’t bother going past the objectification to see what else there is.

Glass: Pass

An awesome song, if you don’t listen to it right after the previous three songs and get as angry as I did.  It’s especially poignant given that Eyedea died a few years back due to “opiate toxicity.”

Gold F

So the album scored a 46% NOT DEROGATORY, which is a big, solid, F.  I wasn’t all that surprised that this failed.  At moments, it honestly feels like their trying to make an album that women couldn’t listen to (but I give them a golden F, for DJ Abilities to put a chain or something).

Atmosphere – Seven’s Travels (2003)

Atmosphere – Seven’s Travels (2003)

Atmosphere Sevens Travels

Atmosphere.  Another album I loved until today.  God damn it.  Atmosphere at this point consists of producer Ant, and rapper Slug (Sean Daley).  There’s also some shitty history attached to this album that doesn’t kick start it the right way (not to the fault of Ant or Slug).  Here’s the Wikipedia page, but have caution, this is trigger warning worthy.  Currently the fourth most recently popular album on Last.FM.  It’s got a 3.59 out of 5 on Discogs, an official 4 out of 5 stars on AllMusic, and a fan rated 4 and a half out of 5 stars on AllMusic.  You can also catch the entire album on YouTube.

History: Pass

It’s a good intro, don’t skip it.

Trying to Find A Balance: Fail

Drops the line, “They would stop acting like a silly bitch.”

Bird Sings Why The Caged I Know: Fail

Hypothetical violence towards women.  Or symbolic, take your pick.

Reflections: Fail

Despite his desire to actually find a woman to talk to, it’s chock full of objectification.

Gotta Lotta Walls: Fail

Objectifications in the line, “He’s a sucker for the morning smile and summer cleavage.”

The Keys To Life Vs Fifteen Minutes: Pass

The last verse gets a little hinky, but all in all there’s no sexism or objectification.

Apple: Fail

Once again, Sean Daley drops the word bitch.  A man as clever as he is should really not fail a song for something so small.

Suicide Girls: Fail

It’s an annoying beat, his rhymes make no sense, especially in the context.  And, he’s helping glorify suicide in a sexual manner by using the Suicide Girls’ name.  That’s not even counting that the opening samples of voicemail recordings portray a woman returning to Slug after he continually mistreats her.

Jason: Pass

A brief sample of a voicemail over a mediocre beat.  But!  No sexism. /sarcasm

Cats Van Bags: Fail

Again, the word bitch damns an entire song.  Which is a shame.  Much like Trying to Find a Balance, it’s a damn fine song, a great beat.  I’m trying to find consolation in the fact that it was another Rhymesayer Entertainer’s line that dropped it, but it had to get past Slug and Ant.  So, they fail.

Los Angeles: Fail

Objectification of transgendered folks here.

Lifter Puller: Fail

Slut shaming?  I’m fucking pissed at this one.  The song is a hip-hop version of Billy Joel’s Scenes From An Italian Restaurant.  It’s an ace song too, beat’s hot, rhymes are hot, then he’s got to go and say, “She’s seen a lot of sex/he tried to hide his resentment.”  Here’s an idea.  DON’T RESENT!  Women can like sex too!

Shoes: Fail

Drunken objectification in Walmart discount quantities.

National Disgrace: Pass

Go figure that this song passes.  It’s about America’s fascination with drunk celebrities acting a fool, how he’s one of them, and there’s no sexism.  It’s lyrics are all right, but their not nearly as good as Lifter Puller or Trying to Find A Balance.  I kind of want to punch Slug for this one.

Denvemolorado: Fail

Fails due to a nice guy trope.  “There’s one woman in the back left corner/who looks like she could really use the supporter/if only I could muster the strength to be a friend/who knows where this adventure could end.”

Liquor Lyles Cool July: Pass

If only Slug would react to women more often like he does in this song.  She has a thought process, emotions, (GASP!), she must be a human!

Good Times: Fail

Sexualization of depression.

In My Continental: Pass

Sweet beat.  Sweet rhymes.  It’s real nice and smooth.

Always Coming Back Home To You: Pass

Dear Slug, if you ever read this, know that this is nearly perfect.  There’s no sexism or any subsidiary thereof.  The ending is perfect, and I’m going to play this song for all my feminist friends.  But, regretfulluy, I’ll have to tell them not to listen to most of the rest of the album.  Which is close to a perfect album.  If you won’t say ni**a, why would you think it’s okay to say bitch?  Please stop dropping it so casually, women are people.  Since you clearly respect race, you should also respect gender.  With all due respect, heritage.andrew@yahoo.com

Shhh (Hidden Track): Fail

I almost skipped this song after the overall disheartening review of Seven’s Travels.  So I wasn’t surprised to find more objectification.

Graffiti F Sad Tree F Burning F

One F burns like my rage.  The other F is sad like my sorrow.  The first F is because I’d spray paint this on the front of his house for failing my hopes.

Well, the album turned out to be 35% NOT DEROGATORY.  Almost twenty four hours ago I loved this album.  I gave it mad props and recommended it all the time.  I don’t know if Slug is just plain ol’ sexist, or if he’s too drunk to realize, or if he just slacks and uses common hip-hop vernacular.  No matter how exactly that cookie crumbled, it’s just crumbs now.  I’m going to go hit the bottle and hope he has less sexist albums I can review later when my wounded heart has healed.