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Brother Reade: Rap Music

Brother Reade: Rap Music

Label:Record Collection
Release Date:2007
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 8/15/2007

Contemporary hip-hop is at its most effective when its progressive message requires unpacking while fancy beats simply sparkle like diamonds. To bluntly title an album Rap Music is to openly court ridicule. And "Let's Go," the first track on Los Angeles duo Brother Reade's first album, doesn't bode well for what's to come--a lackluster admonishment of modern crack-rappers (for telling tales in order to move units) and head-in-the-sand rap traditionalists (for hating on 21st-century hip-hop) alike, set to a modified boom-bap beat.

Thankfully, what MC Jimmy "Jael" Jamz and DJ/producer Bobby Evans have in store is less one-dimensional. "Life Ain't Easy for Y'all" coyly jacks the melody line from Kraftwerk's "The Man-Machine" to highlight the virtues of persistence, admitting that subsistence living, not stardom, is all most MCs have any right to expect in 2007. But the song is delivered with a resignation that softens the blow: "The rap game is just that, dog/ Get another income or you won't get that far." Then the duo busts the club banger "About That Rock," only to turn around and take the Cristal piss out of self-aggrandizing playa-creeps with the free-fall thump of "Baby It Pays." The menacing, gothic "Man of Steel" finds Jamz personifying the sinful impulse in modern hip-hop the way 50 Cent embodied heroin on "A Baltimore Love Thing," before coming back "to save you and your lame crew"--said losers being those who profit by glorifying street violence and depravity.

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