Rhymefest - Blue Collar

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Rhymefest - Blue Collar

Postby The Garbage Man on Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:45 pm

I know KCBC has name-dropped Rhymefest once or twice, but there's been a disturbing lack of discussion about this up-and-coming rapper.

For my part, I'm sick to death of fake gangster shit and over-sexed, pumped up man-children pretending to be badasses and overcompensating for whatever daddy-issues they may have. Music, in my opinion, should be about honesty, and half that shit is just as fake and market-driven as the next boy band or pop princess album.

Rhymefest seems to be an alternative to that, as evidenced by his Onion A.V. Club interview:

How can the home of the blues produce rappers? True rap that describes what's going on is blues revisited. So how could the home of the blues produce rappers who don't show that same sentiment? They can't, 'cause that's where we come from.

And that's part of the reason I named my album Blue Collar. This is a blue-collar region, this is a blue-collar country, this was the country that was built by blue-collar workers. My thing is, this album represents the struggle, the work it that takes to become a superstar, that it takes to change your community. Because I am not out here trying to hurt people, sell people drugs, pimp nobody. For those who say, "That backpack rap, that's not really the hood," let's talk about that. These are lines and divisions that were drawn up by labels in order to market and sell to certain audiences easier. So now we're caricatures of ourselves and what they made us? We're going to label ourselves? If you go to the black community—we can go where I'm from, 95th and Jeffery—you won't see one person on the corner selling drugs. But you may see seven people at the bus stop going to work.

So what's really hood? Who's telling their story? We talk about glorifying selling drugs, we talk about glorifying going to the club. Our whole life is based out of the club. We talk about that, but who's talking about the mothers that leave their kids at home, and the 5-year-old is the oldest one taking care of the 3-year-old and the 2-year-old? And the mother is on the drug binge, so the kids are eating the paint chips off the wall. Who is talking about that? There used to be a debate in hip-hop. There used to be like, "Don't do drugs, we know that they're in our community. We know there are drug dealers, but drug dealers are really wack." That's not even a fucking debate anymore about it. It's like, "You gotta eat, G. You gotta do what you gotta do." That's bullshit. We talk about strippers in the club—I got songs about it. Everything I am saying to you, I am guilty of, and I'm bringing around to the point.

We talk about strippers and how girls shake their shit, but who is talking about the fact that 75 to 80 percent of strippers were molested or sexually or physically abused? And sometimes when you go smack that girl's ass, and you think, "I'm having a good time," you are just another abuser in her life? Who is telling her story for real? I'm not saying that it's wrong to enjoy yourself or to go see strippers. I am not even saying that it's wrong to sell drugs. Some people feel like, "There is nothing else I can do, and I want to be a provider, and this is the only thing I think I know." I am saying that in music, we need balance—and if you're going to talk about this, [then] talk about this. On the Blue Collar album, whatever you choose to call me, whatever label you choose to put me on, I'm creating something that is fresh in hip-hop, which is balance. You know the humor, the cynicism, the seriousness, I know it's complex, and they say "Dumb it down."


Based on that and his interview with GIANT magazine, I was ready to flat-out love Blue Collar. After one listen, I'm not entirely disappointed, although it's not quite as deep as I was hoping. Early standouts for me are "Build Me Up" f. O.D.B. and "Bullet" (f. Citizen Cope).

Anyone else heard this yet and want to share their thoughts?
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:59 pm

great pull-quote GMan.

works best, like most hip-hop / pop albums that exist in the NOW ('cuz you know, that's what pop is) as a series of singles.

but what singles they are. Something for most everyone who's into hippity hop (appropriate for the blue collar "class", which accepts all comers from all walks of life), from the bangin' Just Blaze produced Dynomite (Going Postal), the classic high-hat intro to Stick that bleeds into an utterly stellar send-up of club hook-ups, and the Mark Ronson produced Strokes meets D'Angelo Devil's Pie.

and that Build Me Up song has been pumped from the KCBC vehicle since I dl'd it weeks ago.

Now, yeah, I suppose his outlook is honest, but it ain't like Rhymefest is strugglin' for cash. His sentiments are in the right place though and a hip-hop artist who's down with the peeps but not all pedantic about it is refreshing. Haven't really seen his like since Biz Markie, and I fuckin' loved the Biz.
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby The Garbage Man on Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:19 am

Yay, someone replied! As always your music critiquing skills impress, Keep.

I like that more pop-ish songs like "Fever" and "Brand New" are balanced with heavier stuff like "Bullet" and "Sister," though I worry a bit that the singles will give people the wrong impression of 'Fest.
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