Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Am Not For Sale

by John Robinson

I think it was an interesting decision to give the album's producers as much space on the cover of this cd as the artist himself - it is quite a list of buzzworthy beat-makers he's assembled, and this became the big draw of the album for me, as I was underwhelmed by John Robinson's last release.

There is definitely an experimental vibe to the beats here. Flying Lotus's contributions evoke the language of insects, and Jneiro Jarel provides beats that are recognizably his without having to scan the liner notes. J. Rawls comes correct with a Lone Catalysts style track as well.

As for the songs themselves - Robinson is basically stating his claim of independence on almost every song. We get it - he's not happy with the state of hip-hop, and so he's going to make the music he likes. This is an admirable thing, as the songs he creates are consistently good, if over the course of the half-hour album, a little repetitive.

I find that Robinson wears his influences on his sleeve. 'Don King' sounds like it belongs on Nas's Lost Tapes, and 'Fly Prezidente', with its rhyme about cafe con leche, could have been ghostwritten by MF Doom.

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