First things first, Self Made in an embarrassment of an album. That is if it can be considered an “album.” It’s much more of a husk, a shell, of an album than an actual musical work. Imagine waking up on Christmas morning and opening a brightly wrapped present, only to find that it contains nothing: not a new Hi-Def TV, not 20 bucks, not even an orange reindeer sweater from your grandmother. Nothing. If you can imagine what that would feel like, then you can imagine listening to Rocko. Just who is Rocko? Excellent question. …
DJBooth Album Review
Just who is Rocko? Excellent question. Rocko da Don, as he prefers to be called, is an Atlanta based CEO/producer/director/Monica impregnator who recently decided that adding rapper to that already extensive resume would be a good move. From the standpoint of his bank account I’m sure it was a great idea, but it turns out that the world needs more music from Rocko like it needs another award-show performance from an incoherent Britney Spears.
Let me pause for a quick word about hating. Every time I write a negative review I get the same emails, so let me save you some time. Here, just copy this and send it my way:
”Hater! This music is hot! You’re obviously jealous because (artist name here) got more money than you. You’re just mad because you can’t make music and they can. Stop hatin.”
You’re welcome – and of course feel free to add your own obscenities. Now if you’re the type of person who’s ever sent me a letter like that, go ahead. Just know that this music is my life, I take it seriously, and I don’t have much patience for people who use the art form I’ve devoted my life to solely to make a quick buck. Thanks, I now return you to your regularly scheduled review.
I don’t demand much from an artist, but I do need their music to make me feel something. Angry, joyous, combative, desperate, horny, I’ll take anything, just make sure it’s something. So tell me, what does Busy make you feel? It makes me feel like Rocko thinks the public will buy any song with a hot Drumma Boy beat, even if the lyrics are so unoriginal he makes Mims look like Nas. “I’ve got insomnia, I can’t sleep man. I’m getting money, I’m a busy man.” I mean the way he rhymed “man” with “man” was genius, but I don’t think Weezy has to make room at the top. It’s the same story from top to bottom on Self Made, let’s just pick a song at random. How about That’s My Money? It’s never a good sign when you know exactly what the song’s going to sound like just by reading the title, and That’s My Money is a perfect example. No one’s saying that Rocko can’t buy a dope beat, Shawty Redd’s work on That’s My Money is nothing short of a banger, but that’s why it’s such a shame that Rocko, a guy who’s so lost behind the mic he’s resorted to jocking Gucci Mane’s style, gets to rhyme over it.
Rocko burst on the scene with the hit (in the loosest sense of the word) Umma Do Me, a song that’s about as enjoyable as rubbing Tabasco in your eye, but the song title does bring up a crucial question. Does Rocko really believe he can rhyme, or is he just fronting for the money. Is it all an act when he says ridiculously egotistical things like, “when I look in the mirror, I think this is too much swag to be boarded up,” or is he literally delusional? It’s a crucial question, because if Rocko has overestimated his talent level that severely than he’s almost sad, but if he’s in on the joke than Self Made has moments of “so bad it’s good” territory. The wifey stops by for some duet action on Thugs Need Love Too, and Old Skool almost dares to come up with a unique concept, but there’s just no way around it, Self Made is terrible.
Does Rocko have more money than me? Absolutely. But if having a nicer car than a journalist has become the sole criteria for MC ability then believe me, hip-hop is in serious trouble. So please, take the cash you were going to spend on Self Made and buy a mixtape from some dedicated local rapper who just spent his rent money on studio fees. They’ll be genuinely grateful, and so will hip-hop.
DJBooth Rating - 1.5 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on 03/23/08
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