Friday, March 27, 2009

Tho' Up with Doo Wop

This record is all about the b-side, surprisingly. It's surprising because you'd think a collaboration between Kool G. Rap, M.O.P. and Canibus made in the early 2000's would be a gem of a banger. But it's not at all.

The downfall here is the beat. It's got this deep, bass-heavy garbage can style drum track, which I guess is meant to elicit a dark and ominous atmosphere, but it just doesn't. The rest of the tinny track, full of beeps and "whoops" sounds like some cringe-worthy Hustle & Flow reject. And you can just imagine how well that kind of beat, the "dark" kettle drums and a posse cut of fast, New York rappers mix together. You'd think some suburban nerd just combined the acapellas from three different songs and put them onto his own sloppy beat to show off his "ultimate posse cut" for Youtube. But actually it was produced by Doo Wop for his State Vs. Doo Wop mixtape (this 12" was released as the only way to get these songs unmixed).

The beat switches up for the first few bars of Canibus' verse to "The Symphony" instrumental; but just when you start to get into it, it switches right back to the old mess. Lyrically, Canibus comes with one of his better verses, but M.O.P. and Kool G Rap phone it in; and the whole song is such a mess it's not even worth trying to salvage your favorite MCs' verses. Oh, and Doo Wop's hook is weaksauce, too. An acappella would've been blessing, but you just get album, radio and instrumental mixes.

Fortunately, though, the B-side suffers (almost) none of the ailments of the A-side. Yeah, it's another track from the mix-tape, but this one is really all about Big Pun killing it. The beat is much better, since Doo Wop wisely sticks with one that was used successfully before. But even with that said, he tweaks it nicely; and Pun sounds great over it. Also unlike the last track, Doo Wop spits a verse. It's not too great (and following Pun just highlights the great, unflattering distance between their levels of talent), but it's passable. The only thing that doesn't work here is (again) an irritating hook from Doo Wop. You might want to just turn this song off when it's halfway through... but the first half is fire!

Most people who bought this were probably suckered in by the A-side. But at least the B-side pays off, so it's still a nice little pick up in the end.

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