Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Words by Phlip
As a matter of full disclosure; those who know me best know that Chaundon is a favorite of mine as far as this hippity-hop music goes. He knows it too, as we have been in contact off and on since before his first album came out. He knows I’m a fan and now you do too.
Last month, his third album – which plays about as long as an EP with only 10 songs – “The Jammington” released for purchase and download. You can find it on iTunes (as directed by the artist’s own site ), Amazon and in your local FYE if you prefer a brick-and-mortar record store purchase; or with some slick Google work if you’re a dick about it.
1 – Skyline (feat DJ Flash):
No standard rap album intro, not even any intro bars… We get RIGHT to business as we should with a VERY heavy beat containing Premier-style scratches/samples instead of a hook. From the beginning of this presentation, I am pleased. If this is to be any indication of what I am to expect of this album, this 10 tracks will leave me wanting more.
2 – Possession (feat. Craig G. & Skillz the DJ):
Again, skip right over the silly intro bars and get right to the spitting. In fact, miss me with the R&B chick on the hook and gimme some more samples and scratching. I am REALLY beginning to love this alb–… HOLY HELL, IS THAT CRAIG G?!!? Yes, I am REALLY enjoying how this is unfolding.
3 – Hindsight (feat Skillz the DJ):
This sounds like a 9th wonder beat, and that is not a bad thing to have said, even if it is not him. Slow sample, drums are not too heavy and the beat does not take away from our generous host speaking candidly on issues that may have come into question during his time in the game of late.
I am also beginning to notice a pattern here, two actually… (1) the first three songs have used samples from or quotes from Nas, and (2) “featuring” a DJ on this track listing on my copy involving a DJ means they’re scratching/sampling on the hooks.
4 – Prosperity (feat YC the Cynic & DJ Flash):
Okay, this beat is EXTRA dark, and the rhymes presented against it match that tenor. What I am also noticing in this album thus far is that the songs are kind of short as well, the lack of “regular” hooks may have something to do with that. As it were, this song probably needed a third verse from Chaundon himself. He seemed to have it going with the sociopolitical commentary from his first, and the momentum was kind of thrown off by his guest.
5 – Mandatory:
Dwells kind of long on the intro bars, and I only say because they had so little to do with the beat itself. This is the standard hip hop album fare, involving a discussion of our host’s prowess with the acquisition of the ladies’ favors. A return to the use of Nasir’s lines is on the hook. Since the topic of this song is one that is beginning to wear REALLY thin in the whole of hip hop, I am chalking this one up as a song while I don’t hate it, I also do not love it. In other words, I might not bother with the FF button, but damned if I might ever find myself subconsciously mouthing the words along at any point.
6 – BBW:
I knew when I saw the tracklisting what this song would be about, and I also knew that I would not be angered by it in the least. Yep! If the last song was an attempt at positive female attention, this one is for attention in general, and doesn’t pretend in itself that it should be taken seriously, right down to the 1990-sounding beat and.
HOWEVER If he ain’t joking, he’s a man like me who (as evidenced by my Tumblr) loves big girls and their big features. The point here, is this song is REALLY fun in it’s one verse.
7 – I’m Just a Man:
Back to the soulful sample…
Soul searching on the song, as explained by our host, this is an “introduction,” where he distances himself from the cartoon characters we’re allowed to believe rappers are. In that much, the title is descriptive. The cadence used on this song matches the beat and the message flawlessly.
This is my favorite song on the album thus far.
8 – Loyalty is Royalty (feat B. Boykin):
Another 9th Wonder-like beat. Again, an air of confidence in the rhymes is exuded, and matching perfectly with the beat, which comes across as “majestic,” if I will. As it were, the song opens the host as a human being by admitting to the very human reflex of vulnerability as in the “plane” lines in the first verse. It also speaks to the reward of those closest for their loyalty. Also again, this song was too short.
9 – This Just In (feat Von Pea):
Hey, look… a feature that I recognize from the outset! I also think Von Pea did this beat, it kinda sounds like his work. Never mind that, he is rhyming on this one, and is doing so QUITE well. They end Von’s verse before the hook commences, and Chaundon takes on the pseudo-angered tone that I SINCERELY missed from his last album. I loved how this song’s beat came across, and all parties involved served it quite well. In other words, I like this song and it is now my second favorite on the album.
10 – The Note:
You know that moment when you wonder what would happen if you gave a rapper a computer and a week to do nothing else but write? Well, I know you don’t, but THIS idea is what I imagine would come up with. This is one of those epic “story” joints, where the first verse draws you in, and the second GRIPS you as you build to the moment of absolute surprise, and you’re done the service of being left to your imagination for closure.
And like that, the album goes dark…
Gripe #1 – there is ENTIRELY too little of this album, songs are short and there is not enough of them contained.
Gripe #2 – this presentation will be criminally slept upon, despite conforming to all the new-age distribution methods like iTunes and Amazon.
I could gripe all day, but I would rather not…
What I WILL do, however, is suggest a legal purchase of this album, and not only because I am cordial with dude. I support using your money to drive the industry to support artists who deserve it, as opposed to spending it on bad music to not be labeled as a “hater,” whatever logic that makes.