Tical 0: The Prequel
label: def jam
production: the rza, rick rock, tony dofat, sean 'p. diddy' combs, nasheim myrick, no i.d., rockwilder, others.
guest: missy elliott, busta rhymes, raekwon, snoop doog, redman, ludacris, saukrates, ghostface, others.
year of release: 2004
website: methodman.com
1. Intro feat. Rza
2. The Prequel feat. Streetlife
3. Say What feat. Missy Elliott
4. What's Happenin' feat. Busta Rhymes
5. The Motto
6. We Some Dogs feat. Redman, Snoop Doog
7. The Turn feat. Raekwon
8. Tease feat. Chinky
9. Rodeo feat. Ludacris
10. Baby Come On feat. Kardinal Offishall
11. Who Ya Rollin Wit
12. Never Hold Back feat. Saukrates, E3
13. The Show
14. Act Right
15. Afterparty feat. Ghostface
16. Crooked Letter feat. Streetlife
17. Ridin' For Outro feat. Black Ice
The state of rap is poor. Of course there's still a hundred good albums coming out each year. But considering that's a hundred out of ten thousand albums coming out (okay, the numbers are exaggerated, but you'll get the point), that's only one percent. And that's what people - who argue that rap is still fine and dandy - neglect: they forget that a couple of years ago, 100 albums came out and 100 were good. And that a few years later, of the one thousand albums that came out, still a hundred albums were good. The percentage of good albums decreases year for year. And while there's still enough good albums out there, the overall quality is down.
This album here - Method Man's third offering "Tical 0: The Prequel" - in so many ways includes what is wrong with the current state of rap: the beats are often severely bad, and Method Man struggles to find anything to say. Heck, ten years ago, he'd be laughed and / or booed off the stage when he would have showed up with this music. What is even more tragic, because with the original "Tical", Method Man created an incredible album: that record was dark, it was gritty, it was actually so dirty, freshly manicured hands would only touch it with gloves. But back then people manicured their fingers with their teeth; or fangs.
Let's take the "Intro" for example: Yogi obviously likes to use a keyboard. But does it sound good? No. Why do it then? Well, samples are expensive my friend. Sure they are. But then listen to "The Motto", produced by Nasheim Myrick and Lee Stone, without a sample, but much better. The song is slow, it is dark, even though it's not dirty. Polished keyboard sounds lack grit. And Meth will always be a gritty emcee. That's why it's ridiculous when he gets Rick Rock to do a club ready track called "The Prequel". It's scary that a track like this one seems okay and even okay to like.
Okay, you may argue that times and styles change. Sure. But how much? And if they do, can you still expect to appeal to the same fans? No, this is not a discussion of mass appeal, commercial, underground, blahzay blah. Because the thoroughbred commercial song "Rodeo" is actually not bad. Bad is a "Who Ya Rollin Wit". Actually it's horrible, not just bad. Same with "Never Hold Back" (featuring the Canadian Saukrates), "Say What" (well, the combination of Puffy and Meth went well once, but not twice), "What's Happenin'" (bearable at best), "Crooked Letter I" (wack) and the "Ridin' For Outro". All horrible. How many of you out there, would still become rap fans or Method Man fans, if that would be your introduction to this artist and this genre? How many of you out there are okay with it, because you're just too used to this kind of quality?
We got too content with mediocre ish. And it's about time for us to get over that.
And we all heard the rumor that Method Man had an album done with The RZA, but that Def Jam wanted this bubble gum version. Not surprisingly, RZA's only offering on here: "The Turn" is one of the good songs. And because of the unsatisfactory showing of Method Man, it's even more important to point out what is good, so he knows, right?
"The Show", produced by Self and some cocky verses is actually a good song on this album, while a standard song on any other release. On "Act Right" Rockwilder creates something hard and good, while the "Afterparty" is sounding like a bash, due to Ghostface and a sample based Q beat.
So what about "Tease" featuring Chinky? Hmmm…. Not really good. No I.D. could have done better than this. What about "We Some Dogs" which features Redman and Snoop Dogg? Just another sex you up song over a this-used-to-be-a-westcoast-style beat by Denaun Porter. Again, this is just another example of 'we got too used to mediocre ish.' Same goes for "Baby Come On" (with the other Canadian on here Kardinal Offishall): not horrible, but this can't be good.
People, enough is enough. We don't have to be content with mediocre ish. Especially as there's still a hundred albums that are good. Let's buy those. And don't be surprised if you might have to look harder for 'em and buy artists you haven't heard much of. Don't just eat what's force fed to you. Close your mouth.
review: tadah
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