Friday, July 27, 2007

Worst 10 Dr. Dre Tracks of All Time

Constructive Criticism? That's all...

Ok, Dre is at least top 3 producers of all time no matter who you ask. Dude is a living legend. I have already done a post about his top ten tracks. But dude is human after all. I thought I'd look at his worst tracks...

10. Eve - That's What It Is

The production qualities on this track are superb. I mean, Dre produced it, come on! Unfortunately though, it feels like it was just "mailed in". It's too obvious. You could pick that this a Dre track from a mile away...sometimes that can be a good thing but in this case it is not.

9. 50 Cent - Straight to the Bank

This new track from 50 Cent has kinda again a "mailed in" feel. Although this time, the beat is worse. Nice bass line though. But how many 4/4 Synth Orchestras do we need? Here he can't even give us a Orchestra Chord...just a solitary note repeated over and over. Then he brings in that cool sounding "Ass Like That" string instrument but the damage has been done already...

8. Jay-Z - Thirty Something

This track is pretty terrible. Hand claps. Check. Bass line. Check. Orchestra progression at end of ever loop. Check. Dope beat...uhm, nah. It just doesn't sound that good. And Jay-Z trying to prove he is still fresh by telling us how grown up he is (?) isn't really helping.

7. Busta Rhymes - Don't Get Carried Away

Nah, its not working. Dre goes for heavy bass "d-d-d-duh" then raise the tone "d-d-d-duh." Add, oh yeah, a handclap again. Add some creepy chords over it and even a female keyboard choir "Ah Ah Ah!" Argh indeed...

6. The Firm - Firm Family

This one I'll excuse. Dre was obviously trying something here and it didn't really work out. At all. That is a real weak beat...

5. D-12 - Ain't Nuthin But Music

Yeah this beat ain't really doing anything. It's just...there. On an album. And with D-12 over it. I don't think Dre was trying anything here and he didn't really achieve anything.

4. Eminem - My Daddy's Gone Crazy

This is just a stupid song. It's not really Dre's fault. He probably gave Eminem exactly what he wanted. He probably should've avoided getting his name on that beat, though. Maybe coulda said Eminem produced it...wouldn't be too far fetched.

3. Xzibit - Choke Me, Spank Me, Pull My Hair

What the fuck happened here? Club bangers can be dope. But if they fail, they can be absolutely horrible. this is a failed club banger.

2. Dr. Dre - Pause 4 Porno

Lol. Do I really need to listen to this? Props to him for trying to bring porn away from the screen and into the speakers. But I prefer just watching the fly babes in your music videos to get a hard on.

1. Eminem - Just Lose It

This was just a ridiculously bad beat. I don't know how Dre managed to produce this one. What's worse, is that it is a lead-off single for an album. Actually, I really just don't want to talk about this beat...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Common - Finding Forever (Review)

First Classic of the year!

Hey what's up all. I thought I'd drop by and drop in another blog post here. It seems this place is finally getting some hits...

So without further ado, hot off the press, I present my review for Common's new joint "Finding Forever." Common is sort of in a new phase of his career. Since Kanye's star started to shine bright, Common kinda got immersed in some of the surrounding glow."Be", the first album in this new G.O.O.D. music era for Common, made number 2 on the Billboard charts. Over Kanye's sometimes inconsistent soul offerings, Common was sounding as he had been for a few years: very mature. The album was almost even contemporary adult R&B rather than hip-hop. The album was good...but not great. Too short, and all too similar. Maybe even too "old."

From the instrumental intro to Common's Pop talking at end, "Finding Forever" is very much the sequel to "Be". But it's one of those rare sequels that improves on the original. Again with Kanye executive producing, soul is the order of the day. This time however, there are no weak productions. In fact, some of the soul tracks on here are incredibly strong. With chilled out, warm instrumentals prevalent, the hook melodies are consistently memorable and varied ("The People", "Black Maybe", "Break My Heart"). Will.I.Am brings some great drums again to another R&B infused jam on "I Want You". However, there is also room for straight up hip-hop. On the raw street gem "The Game" Common is pleasingly more aggressive and even youthful on the mic. Premo providing cuts for the song just elevates it to instant classic status. When Common says "This fist is like a symbol for black" you can't help but get caught up in it all.

And yes, this is noticeable throughout the whole album. Common seems less mature, which is great. Sometimes he is just putting in word plays and rhyming for the fun of it, which is a great compliment to his deeper thoughts ("She had some D's on her, but they weren't fake though..." is followed with "They say it's hard for a pimp, but extra hard for these h-" on "Driving Me Wild.")

The album has these consistent soul gems just littered throughout. It seems pointless listing the great tracks as I can just say "every track is dope". Again, there is an epic finish featuring Common's Pop with "Forever Begins" which, must like most of this album, manages to improve on "Be".

All in all, Common comes nicer, Kanye's productions are better, J-Dilla's production is better and Will.I.Am's production is dope. It is indeed a superior product to "Be" and up there with "Resurrection" as Common's best album. It is hard to say which is better, as those two are completely different styles: one is heavily soul and R&B influenced while the other is strictly hip-hop. But the fact that both quality albums come from different ends of his career should not be lost. Common has made great music, and continues to do so. While recently sounding very mature, it has been his willingness to add a bit more of his earlier style of just "spitting" back into the mix which has elevated this album high above his other recent offerings. Now he is again as fresh as he was at the beginning of his career. A little more hip-hop style jawns would push this rating even higher.