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Soul Position: Things Go Better With RJ and Al

Soul Position: Things Go Better With RJ and Al

Label:Rhymesayers Entertainment
Release Date:2006
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Makkada B. Selah | Posted 6/14/2006

Soul Position works a decidedly vintage hip-hop sound. Producer RJD2 is smooth but very loopy—Pete Rock-inspired horns here, a Flavor Flav sample there. At times he’s a bit too loose, like on the comic “I Need My Minutes,” which sounds piecemeal and unfinished even for a spoof track. But his sparseness nicely complements rapper Blueprint’s retro flow.

People may say Blueprint’s light jabs at commercial bling-hop, as on “No Gimmicks,” aren’t backed up elsewhere with enough hard-hitting social and political commentary to count him among the titans of indie-rap. Whatever. “The Cool Thing to Do,” a song addressed to a young girl, is hardly light fare. Like Nas’ “ I Can,” it’s one of the few tracks attempting to make it safe for kids to listen to rap again. Blueprint warns, “Before you get involved with him, you gotta have rules/ Rule number one make him call you first/ Then ask him if he goes to church/ Not that church alone makes you better than anyone/ But if he’s only out for sex he’ll definitely run.”

Those sentiments may be more difficult to swallow for many than plain old political rap. Political—as in Jadakiss’ “Why”—can still get on the radio. But a song featuring a male rapper suggesting that female teenagers should consider abstinence will have to fight for whatever airplay it can get in 2006’s hip-hop climate, even on college stations—which makes it one of the most radical indie-rap songs to be released this year.

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