Saturday, June 10, 2006

Listen: Spank Rock

Spank RockHip-Hop has been around for more than 25 years and so it would seem that, like rock and roll before it, rap music is currently stymied in it’s disco period, bereft of innovation and guilty of fan-pandering. I haven’t found much to excite me about the genre-at-large since high school when, like all boys with bad taste, I was a fan of party anthems and shiny-suited MCs. But like the break beats that give a bangin’ track its backbone, to find the good shit you gotta dig.

YoYoYoYoYo is the debut album from Spank Rock, a Baltimore-area group with beats by Armani XXXChange and rhymes from MC Naeem Juwan. What’s most refreshing about Spank Rock is that it doesn’t follow any template. There are few guest MCs and producers on the album, which gives XXXChange a chance to infuse each song with a megaton of Baltimore Club bass and computerized clicks and whistles.

Fewer guests also mean that Juwan gets more mic time to wax on about a few of his favorite things: ass and pussy. “Backyard Betty” has a bridge near the end where he just spits “I’d tap the ho” again and again over some syncopated drums. The lyrics can be unsettling (“Ass-shaking competition champ / Ooh, that pussy gets damp”) but the music carries with it a distinct sense of playful absurdity (“Coke and wet, bitch / Guns, nigga, holla”), making me feel stodgy for taking the words too seriously. This is party music so get over it. And while a song like “Rick Rubin” isn’t exactly hip-hop’s answer to punk, signaling the death of stale, forgettable singles, at least it’s a good excuse to grind your ass.
Spank Rock - "Backyard Betty" (mp3)
Spank Rock - "Coke & Wet" (mp3)
Spank Rock - "Rick Rubin" (mp3)
Spank Rock - "Bump" (mp3)
Steven: There is one track with a chick. But she’s just rapping about her own pussy.
Shavonne: Why doesn’t she sing about “Backyard Bobby”?
Steven: I dunno. “Oooh, he gotta big ol’ dick.”
Shavonne: HA HA HA HA Sing it again.
Steven: No.

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