Friday, April 10, 2009

Here in Michigan there is a free entertainment newspaper called "Real Detroit Weekly" that has a lot to offer locals that enjoy clubbing, concerts and great restaurants. The writers on the RDW staff constantly stay in the mix of what is going on around town, so if your the "barfly" type this paper is an asset. Personally, I enjoy reading blunt and honest album reviews that are done weekly. This one of the only places that I can depend on to get that straight forward commentary that I desire. Recently, one of my favorite critics, Eric Allen, shared his review of Flo Rida's latest album release entitled "R.O.O.T.S" in the RDW. Even though I have heard a couple of Flo Rida's songs in the past, I don't consider myself a fan of his music. With that being said, I somewhat curious about Eric's opinion of his new joint. As I began reading the album review, I quickly realized that many of the statements written were not just talking about Flo Rida and his music, but it was also a personal perspective of what hip-hop music has become. Being an original fan and supporter of hip-hop music, Eric's words definitely hit mark in my opinion. It's like he took the words right out of my mouth. For that reason, I thought that I'd take time to share these words with you folks. No matter how you feel about hip-hop at this point, please read these statments and let them marinate for a minute. Then if you feel inspired, please leave a comment sharing your opinion...
Eric Allen's words:
The days of the great hip-hop album are done. Gone. Dead. Finished. It sounds old and jaded to say it, but there is nothing being made today that comes anywhere close to records like De La Soul's "3 Feet High and Rising," Public Enemy's "It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back" or EPMD's "Strictly Business." Ultimately, instead of focusing on making a complete album, artists in the hip-hop game seem concerned about creating the most throw-away thing possible, the single.
Perhaps the notion speaks ill of the hip-hop industry itself. If so -- then so be it. In a genre where flavor of the singles are how you make your buck, it is somewhat standard to never hear from a rapper or singer again after they make that first splash. Sure, your single had a dance that went with it, the track had cred and was a banger in the club, but careers shouldn't and can't be, built around singles. If that's the case, you're most likely one and done.
So what happens when an artist, like Flo Rida, releases an album of half-assed hip-hop songs that piggyback on that one "great" single -- and that single isn't even that good? It's time to dim the lights, say goodbye and find a new job doing something else. What's life like at that point? You'll have to ask Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, Quad City DJs, Kris Kross, Shawty Lo, Huey, Hurricane Chris, Gorilla Zoe or Rich Boy -- they could probably tell you. -- ERIC ALLEN
Oh yeah, Eric gave the "R.O.O.T.S" album 2 stars out of 5.

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