Saturday, February 28, 2009

White Van Music

by Jake One
Jake One first caught my attention with his beats on De La Soul's 'The Grind Date', and I started noticing his name popping up from time to time in different liner notes. He didn't have an immediately recognizable sound, but he did make nice beats. When I heard that Rhymesayers was releasing his first solo album, and I saw who would be featured on it, I figured it was a safe purchase.

This is a good album, and I think could have been a great album, had a few songs been trimmed off of it. Now, this becomes a matter of personal bias, as it is the more mainstream songs featuring artists like Freeway, Young Buck, Evidence, Prodigy, Alchemist, and MOP that I would lose.

The tracks that feature more underground artists are what kept this in my car for so long. Little Brother has a nice track on here, as do Elzhi & Royce Da 5'9", Blueprint, and Black Milk & Nottz. Among the best tracks is 'The Truth', with Freeway and Brother Ali - a strange pairing for sure, but one that works exceptionally well. Posdnuos and Slug record 'Oh Really', another fantastic track, and another unusual partnership. These two songs together remind me a little of that "Think Differently" project of a couple of years back.

Of course, the big draw of the album are the two tracks featuring MF Doom. He still comes correct, and spits in his usual eccentric style. It's nice to see that the man is still recording.

As for Jake One's beats - they are consistently good throughout the album, and he shows a lot of promise for both underground and mainstream appeal. This album comes with an instrumental disk.

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