Tag Archives: Black Thought

Song Review-Who Want It by David Banner featuring Black Thought & WatchtheDuck produced by THX

 

Song Review-Who Want It by David Banner featuring Black Thought & WatchtheDuck produced by THX

 

by Dan-O

No one is dumber than me on the subject of Black Thought. While I love and admire The Roots discography and hang on every new release the way nearly every hip hop head of my generation does…I have no idea where Black Thought goes in the history of lyricists.

I’ve always thought that he wasn’t consistent and some Roots albums he was on the throne while others he was fulfilling a commitment limply but he has inarguable one of a kind marks on his resume. He is the only MC on Big Pun’s Capital Punishment who holds up next to Pun and that is saying a lot if you know the guest list on that album. Who Want It is another example of that Black Thought. This is very much a Banned From TV style ugly posse cut beat and Black Thought lays a verse you just have to hear. When he says “I smash the vocal booth and turn back to David Banner, N!” I was terrified. How is Banner gonna follow that?!  I would likely be shaking with terror.

David Banner is a truly wild dude. The album this song is on is called The God Box and you can call it conscious if you want. It is large print rap star conspiracy theory/paranoia/racial dialogue. No sleepy piano beats where he whispers thoughtful advice to his audience. He roars warnings and this song is a perfect example. He jumps into the historical rape of black women and personalizes it. He pulls in the death of notable black genius’s like Prince “They tell us that it’s drugs or suicide and sweep that sh_t under the rug.” Whether I agree with David Banner or not isn’t the point (and I do a lot of the time). God Box has fifteen songs and on every verse you believe Banner believes. Some songs will make you uncomfortable if your white and too comfortable (Elvis) but it is a heck of an experience. Banner isn’t the G.O.A.T. bar for bar but he is an incredible producer so he has a brilliant ear and God Box sounds like nothing out there. He also fills all space vocally with thought provocation and I have had a soft spot for that since KRS.

If you love hip hop this is your jam. If it sounds old school to you grab that Freshman XXL cover and look up some mixtapes that can transport you to a land of pleasant robot voice hooks and love songs. To each their own.

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Song of The Year-Extradite by Freddie Gibbs featuring Black Thought produced by Mikhail

Song of The Year-Extradite by Freddie Gibbs featuring Black Thought produced by Mikhail

by Dan-O

Rap music is so hopelessly cool that the effect a new star has is inebriating. A new talent comes out of nowhere and changes the world…at least your world. So every critic has their own best-flow-in-the-business candidate and it usually changes every few months. Kevin Gates drops a mixtape & people forget that E-40 is still dope. It always tickles me when people discuss the best flow in the game and don’t mention Freddie Gibbs.

How great is Gibbs? When he first broke critics STRUGGLED for a comparison point. Is this like Bone Thugs? He carries a hook so effortlessly into singing range (on his new album Shadow of A Doubt see the song Careless for an example) but he’s not dedicated to a strict fast flow like Twista or Bone Thug.

Instead Freddie slides up and down the speed range like Johnny Hodges on saxophone sliding up the scale. Shadow of A Doubt showcases his flow in all its forms and at seventeen tracks with limited rap features (at least fifteen of the songs listed stand with Gibbs as the solo rapper) It could have been longer. It’s sleek and hard and better with every listen.

Extradite is Freddie on track with one of the best rappers who ever lived and wanting it to be seen as a competition. He steals the first verse over a timeless beat but Black Thought scorches back in the next and instead of giving his guest one shot and smothering him with follow up verses he comes back does his next verse(even better!) and hands off again. It shows a lot of respect to his guest, he wants to murder this track and Black Thought but wants to do it clean. Obviously no one murders anyone but the outcome of this song is the best lyrical back and forth of the year. Freddie Gibbs is the greatest Gangsta rapper in the world and you know that because he called up a rap feature hall of famer(remember Pun and Black Thought?) and asked if he wanted a new challenge.

Song of The Year-The Imperial featuring Action Bronson, Royce Da 5’9 and Black Thought produced by Statik Selektah

Song of The Year-The Imperial featuring Action Bronson, Royce Da 5’9 and Black Thought produced by Statik Selektah

by Dan-O

The most popular DJ albums fall into one of two categories. The first is the super-producer putting the most popular artists together to line up as many radio hits as possible. If even one record breaks in a big way the DJ gets a new car. Not trying to run down this approach. I need great radio singles like everyone else.

The second kind is the massively well respected producer, underground or on the popular border, who uses his great beats to gather all the most interesting guests together. Statik Selektah and maybe Marco Polo fit into this category. Statik’s new album What Goes Around is absolutely fantastic in terms of track chemistry; Snoop Dogg raps with Ransom on a song, Noreaga, Reks and Termanology share the track Drunk and High. At first you might look at the tracklist and ask why Bun B and Jared Evan are on a song together but you can always trust in Statik Selektah.

Not only is this the kind of producer who never stops working (even to sleep) but his ear for MC talent is as good as his ear for song construction. He not only got Action, Black Thought and Royce together on a track, he got hungry top-of-his-game Black Thought. This is the Black Thought who ran side by side with Pun on Capital Punishment. Is it the catchiest song of the year? Does it have Jhene Aiko singing seductively? No and no but if you are walking around yapping about the lack of lyricism in rap this might sink your battleship. While this song is definitely on a higher level because of the collection of talent all the songs are formed with hard as nails wordsmiths and gritty, jazzy boom bap minimalism.

If the trashy rap makes you feel gross this is your hot shower.