Wednesday, July 7, 2010

OJ Simpson

by Guilty Simpson (and Madlib)

This is a very odd album.  To begin with, it's being labeled and marketed as a Guilty Simpson album, but he only appears on half of the tracks on the disk, while his producer, Madlib (the OJ (Otis Jackson) in the title) is behind the boards on the whole show.

I think the reason for it, as I've said before, is that Guilty is kind of a boring rapper.  Don't get me wrong - I love it when he has a guest spot on a song, with another MC or two, but when he's on his own, he's hella monotonous.  I figure that's why, of the 24 tracks on this disk, only 12 of them have vocals.  The rest are the usual Madlib interlude kind of thing - snippets of stand-up comedy acts, chunks of TV or movie dialogue, or just straight up, nice instrumentals.

Of all the songs that Guilty does actually spit on, only two of them stand out in any way.  'Cali Hills' is a tribute to J Dilla, complete with his signature alarm song and samples of his verses off the Dilla/Madlib Jaylib project.  The only other song I really like is Scratch Warning, which features Frank (I assume from Frank N Dank), and which allows Guilty's strength as a collaborator to show through.

The weird thing is that I like this album.  The sheer number of strange interludes and spoken tracks give the musical pieces a sparseness and rarity that I kind of enjoy.  I think I'd go nuts listening to this in the car, but when chilling at home getting work done, I find this album to be good company.  I much prefer it to the first of the Madlib Medicine Show mixtapes, which was released as a precursor to this album.

This album is definitely strange, but you can't expect things to be too conventional when dealing with Stones Throw.

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