"second time around"

Friday, September 11, 2009

last week, i hastily reviewed the three prominent hip-hop releases from kid cudi, raekwon, and jay-z. i broke down my thoughts on each track, but i didn't compile an overall score. being a mathematical genius, i composed a complex equation to normalize those numbers and produce an initial score. after having a few days to let each album soak in, i changed my final score accordingly and provided final thoughts. read on, friends!

+ kid cudi - man on the moon
initial 58/100
final 72/100
thoughts cudi is a good artist, but he still can't sing or rap. what he can do is select thought provoking production and craft memorable hooks and choruses. while man on the moon has grown on me immensely, this album would be better served if everything was kept in tact and cudi's attempts at rapping were discarded. maybe i was judging the book by its cover because dear god, that was one of the worst album covers i've seen this decade. i can't lie though. i find myself listening to this album more and more.

+ raekwon - only built 4 cuban linx pt. 2
initial 84/100
final 84/100
thoughts yes, this album sounds incredibly dated and would have been better if it met a pre-2000 release, but ob4cl2 is still dope. the production is vintage and top shelf while raekwon and company keep everything flowing smoothly as they weave in and out of the coke drama. there is classic material in there, but a handful of production missteps and sometimes stale lyrics keep it from achieving the lofty heights of its predecessor. for me, it won't get better with time... unless we were somehow able to revert time.

+ jay-z - the blueprint 3
initial 75/100
final 70/100
thoughts i didn't want to harp on this before, but jay-z has severely regressed as a rapper. there are moments of clarity where jay-z shows glimpses of his previous greatness, but they are few and far between. we are mostly left with a listless jay-z that's content with delivering passable verses. production wise, the timbaland tracks were indeed awful and we all would have been better served if jay-z had continued working with sean c and lv. personally, this is nearly a one and done listening experience.

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