Thursday, August 5, 2010

Politics As Usual (Review) - Termanology

(All songs produced by DJ Premier unless noted)

1. It’s Time | 0:53 | 3 (Produced by Easy Mo Bee)
There’s absolutely no point to this, maybe it’s supposed to provide warmth?
2.Watch How It Go Down | 4:01 | 4.5 - 4.75
3. Respect My Walk | 3:03 | 3.25 - 3.75 (Produced by Buckwild)
Should’ve been the last track, though I can see why The Chosen was also picked.
4. Hood Shit (Featuring Prodigy) | 3:55 | 3.5 - 4 (Produced by Alchemist)
5. Float | 3:15 | 3 - 3.25 (Produced by Nottz)
I like the sampling at the chorus though, but it doesn’t have that feeling you’re supposed to have.
6. Please Don’t Go | 4:27 | 3 - 3.25 (Produced by Nottz)
At one point of time, I used to absolutely adore this song, but now it’s become too repetitive.
7. How We Rock (Featuring Bun B) | 3:57 | 4.5 - 5
Remember when Bun B actually sounded inspired? Sorry Term.
8. Drug, Crime, Gorillaz (Featuring Sheek Louch & Freeway) | 3:52 | 3.25 - 3.75 (Produced by Nottz)
Insanely energetic preformances.
9. In The Streets (Featuring Lil’ Fame) | 3:54 | 3.25 - 3.5 (Produced by Hi-Tek)
10. So Amazing | 3:53 | 4.5 - 5
“You know a good thing when you see it.”
11. Sorry I Lied To You | 3:04 | 3.5 (Produced by Large Professor)
12. We Killin’ Ourselves | 3:58 | 3.5 - 4 (Produced by Pete Rock)
If only they worked on that chorus.
13. The Chosen | 3:26 | 3.25 - 3.75 (Produced by Havoc)

Overall Rating: 46 - 50.5 | 71 - 77% | 3.7 / 5 | Impressive; well above average; TRY IT

This album came out at a time where I was recently getting introduced to the rap genre in general. I was quickly snapping up any hyped up rapper, and this album just came into the mix. Upon my initial listens, I constantly put this album in rotation, and at one point, I easily loved one of these songs, such as Please Don’t Go, which I absolutely loved at one time, or Drug, Crime, Gorillaz, another track that I also previously adored.

Yet, nostalgia can only go so far as to determining the albums quality.

Obviously, we have a stacked producer list, considering we’ve got the obvious greats such as Pete Rock, Large Professor, Easy Mo Bee, and also the consistent well-knowns, such as Hi-Tek, Alchemist, Buckwild and of course Nottz. All of the producers pretty much provide consistent productions, with Alchemist, Buckwild, Pete Rock & Havoc providing more interesting production for each of their individual songs. Nottz, however, pretty much takes the L here, considering providing three songs in comparison to all of these greats, is a lot to handle. However, if I was given a instrumental tape out of just this album, I would’ve been a much happier person.

However, we cannot forget the surprisingly prolific, legendary DJ Premier. DJ Premier pretty much provided the foundation for this albums score, with all three of his productions sounding straight classic from the first listen to the fifteth listen. You can easily tell the quality, with all three tracks having individualistic features that aren’t usually set, such as the triangle hits on How We Rock, the funk-throwbacks of So Amazing, or the explosive strings on Watch How It Go Down. This was pretty much the obvious thing for myself to say, so nothing important here.

One time, I always wondered why this album wasn’t considered a great album. Termanology had the flow, the swagger, and the lyrics, but yet, he didn’t have that certain ability. That certain ability was to make a song. Sure, all of the DJ Premier productions are pretty much just lyrical lines again and again, it’s more apparent in other songs, such as Drugs, Crime & Gorillaz or Respect My Walk. It just seems like Termanology is just spitting lines continously, just to get to the end of the song. Even songs such as Please Don’t Go have to constantly be injected with those slick lines just to get through to the end.

There was a quick sample in So Amazing that simply said, “You know a good thing when you see it.” Do you really have to be concerned about whether rappers like Termanology can be introspective, reflective or other things that they aren’t? Not really.

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