I write about hip-hop for a living and even I can’t tell half the new rappers apart. Is that a new Gucci Mane joint or an old J-Kwon track? Or maybe it’s Yung Berg? Ok, so they’re all technically different, but after a few months all the “in the club/hot car/big jewels” verses sound the same and you have trouble remembering exactly who dropped that banging beat. Apparently all the record label bosses have identical strategies; find a successful formula and repeat it until the style’s more tired than Super Head at the BET awards. …
DJBooth Album Review
In a world of carbon copied MCs Bizarre stands out like, well like an obese man wearing a shower cap. He’s now primarily famous for his role on Celebrity Fit Club, but the D12 member’s been rocking a mic with rhymes about midget orgies and pill-poppin well before he ever stepped on a scale. Bizarre’s still struggling to deal with the death of his band mate and close friend Proof, but he’s pulled himself together for another shot at solo success with his new album Blue Cheese and Coney Island. It’s no surprise the album’s named after his two favorite foods so in honor of Bizzare, the round mound of hip-hip sound, I thought I’d do the same with my review.
Knock ‘Em Out has a beat so dirty it violates health codes, the slowly pacing percussion, crunching guitar riffs and shotgun sound effects are not fit for kids to eat. Bizzare isn’t going to be confused with Twista anytime soon, he’s got one rhyme speed and it’s slow, but he’s always been more about lyrics then delivery. Fans expect a Bizzare track will be full of obscenity-filled rhymes and Knock ‘Em Out doesn’t disappoint. Any example I could give would be so censored it’s not worth it. Let’s give it a shot anyway – “F*** a mother****in n****.” How was that? Welcome to the D is a deservedly violent ode to Detroit featuring some painfully twisted verses from Young Miles, Stretch Money and D12 member Kuniva. Ironically the beat sounds Atlanta-born with its stabbing synths and stuttering drum fills, but in the end all that matters is the Welcome to the D has absolutely no educational value whatsoever. Just how I like it.
On Blue Cheese and Coney Island Bizarre makes a concerted effort to go beyond his infamous shock and comedy rhymes and the results are surprisingly moving. So Hard is not only a tribute to his fallen comrade Proof, it’s a testament to the struggle of simply making it through life. What Bizarre lacks in lyrical complexity he makes up for in sincerity, plus relatively unknown singer Monica Blair absolutely kills the chorus. Keyshia Cole wishes she could sing this well. How I Hustle is an equally serious track about the constantly crushing need to make enough money to feed your baby daughter and forget a diamond bracelet. It seems like Bizarre realized a long time ago that he’s never going to be a star so he decided screw it, I’m just going to be myself, and his willingness to lay his life bare is compelling. This is exactly the type of musical meal you need when you know it’s going to be a long, hard day.
It sounds weird, it is weird, but one bite and it’s strangely good. Bizarre’s attempt at a Soulja Boy-esque hit is Da Fat Boy Dance, a club friendly track with a catchy beat that comes complete with a very appropriate dance (it’s mostly standing still and rubbing your stomach). Further down the line is Animal, a joint with jungle soaked production and some schizophrenically violent lyrics by Razaaq, King Gordy and Bizarre, who offers to kill Eminem for 25 grand. Relax, he’s joking. I think. Both tracks are church psalms compared to Got This Addiction, a straight up acoustic meets heavy-metal-rock cut featuring Bizarre singing in a voice that’s either so terrible it’s great, or so bad it’s terrible. Blue Cheese and Coney Island isn’t for everyone, hell it may not be for almost anyone, but Bizarre brings some new-found depth without losing an ounce of his strange style and I respect that. Hide the children and the chicken wings, Bizarre’s coming to town.
DJBooth Rating - 2.5 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on 10/25/07
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"So Hard (Letter To Proof) ft. Monica Blair" (2007)
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