Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mobb Deep - Blood Money

Mobb Deep, "Put Em In Their Place"

Mobb Deep feat. 50 Cent, "The Infamous"

Mobb Deep feat. 50 Cent, "Outta Control (remix)"

It saddens me to discuss this album, Blood Money, the newest Mobb Deep album. For those who don't know, I consider their first album, The Infamous, the greatest rap album of all-time. Hell, I think that the second one, Hell On Earth, cracks the Top 10. Yes, I know that this is a big statement, and that I am forgetting about Biggie and Pac and whatnot, but whatever. I love The Infamous, I love its coldness, its nihilism, its brutal lyrics and stories about Queensbridge. I love the sound, the brittle, painful snares, the deadening bass, the eerie horror movie piano. It still sounds perfect to me, all these years later, no different than when I was listening to it on headphones in my room as a kid, after running out to cop the CD because of a Rolling Stone review. There's not a bad track on the whole album, that rare LP where you don't have to worry about skipping a track.

Now, we move ahead to 2006 and the boys have put out an album that is much anticpated. The duo were scooped up by 50 Cent and his G-Unit label after their previous label dropped them, which left me curious to see how much influence G-Unit would have on the finished result. I am sad to say that it seems like a lot, mainly evidenced by the constant guest appearances by the G-Unit stable. 50, Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, ugh. The sound reminds me of the stuff you hear from those guys, similar slow beats, song after song that sound the same lyrically and musically. Havoc, the producer of their albums, supposedly did about 70% of the beats, It's not the worst thing I have ever heard, as the tracks above are good ones, definitely worth repeated listening. But, there's 16 tracks on the album, and the bad ones are awful. There's no real storytelling, no sense that these guys are from Queens, nothing to distinguish them from the pack.

I always strive to avoid nostalgia, that pathetic state of being that doesn't think rap happened after 1993 or rock after 1979 or jazz after 1960. I'm not sure why I am succombing to it now, as it's so not a good look. Forgive me, as I really won't make this a habit. I am very happy that Prodigy and Havoc are making some money, cashing in finally. They deserve to share in the spoils, I just wish that this didn't mean putting out such watered-down music. This is just another below-average album, but I can't pretend it doesn't hurt a little. callmeMICKEY sees it differently and has another track from the album. Buy the album here and see what you think.

-You want a real gangster? Check out my bol Stephen Colbert previewing what he had in store for the President with this interview of Bill Kristol, editor of the right-wing, war-mongering The Weekly Standard. "How is the new American Century going?" Short, but devastating.

Oh, and how anyone could still listen to Kristol and his buddies is beyond me? How do they even sleep at night? I get drunk and say something stupid, and it keeps me up for a week.

-R.I.P. John Kenneth Galbraith. His friend and colleague Arthur Schlesinger Jr. eulogizes the economist wonderfully. John Nichols of The Nation explains why this man was so important and revered.

-George W. Bush: The Worst President Ever

-Happy birthday to MO, further proving that May births are a strong lot. They ain't no Leos, but ain't no shame in not making it to that level.

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