Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
Books:
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
Writings:
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
    RSS
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2011-04-08

2011-04-08

Saigon: The Greatest Story Never Told (Suburban Noize, 2011) After mixtapes I liked, mixtapes I heard, and mixtapes that passed me by, this is the Saigon and Just Blaze album I've been waiting for since a student tipped me to them five years ago--heroic post-gangstaism, with the conscious ex-con forthright as rhymer and rapper and the Jay-Z sideman bigging him up with soul singers and cinematic beats (and also with Jay-Z). Saigon don't play. He's a social realist and a realist moralist who makes his seriousness work for him. Behind Blaze's say-so, he sounds like the kind of person it's always interesting to get to know. A-

Ski Beatz: 24 Hour Karate School (DD172 New York, 2010) North Carolinan David Willis is a journeyman beatmaker-producer--big credit: no-big-deal Camp Lo--who's spent the major chunks of his two-decade career in New York. Recently he oversaw two official releases by Young Money second-stringer Curren$y, the kind of thug lite who's admired by Rick Ross's real-fake claque. Those who prefer those albums bemoan the loss here of two Mos Def raps I crashed my search engine seeking out. They're probably good--Mos Def has it all over mos of the nonentities who provide the vocal sounds on this beats-first showcase. Not Jean Grae, though--here's hoping Willis lures her out of her apartment. And note that the Mos Def songs in question, "Cream of the Planet" and "Taxi," finish this off on the upswing as sayonora instrumentals. I listen to hip-hop for the rapping. But I've spent a lot of time dwelling on the music here, which combines beats per se with grandiosities like the dramatic intro to "Nothing but Us," the guitar hook of "Scaling the Building," and the full-on movie theme that carries "Cream of the Planet." Sayonora instrumentals fit right in. B+

Select Review Dates

Get unique date list.

Enter begin date as YYYY-MM-DD:
Enter end date as YYYY-MM-DD: