50 Cent- Before I Self Destruct review, 7.5/10

50-cent-album-cover

The Invasion: 6.5/10 Your standard intro track. 50 comes out energetic but without a lot of interesting rhymes it doesn’t really resonate with me. 

Then Days Went By: 9.5/10 Great song. Lyrics are a lot more memorable, the funniest being about being 12 and having sex with a 20 year old. He doesn’t care that it’s technically rape, because it was so cool. Not gonna lie. That’s the exact same interpretation I’d have if I hooked up with a 20 year old. The beat is great too. The organ and background vocals are perfect.

Death To My Enemies: 9/10 This is a Dre beat, and it definitely shows it. 50 goes hard, claiming that this CD isn’t “Tha Carter”. Anything anti-Wayne I’m all for, because he’s played out. There isn’t a whole lot to this track, but it’s great for what it is.

So Disrespectful: 7/10 Ah 50 and your fightin’ ways. This is his anti-Game/Young Buck track among others… It’s not bad, but I actually like Piggy Bank off Tha Massacre more for some reason (wow, I never thought I’d say that).  Woulda given this an 8 if it wasn’t  referencing Young Buck doing more syrup than Pimp C. This is because Pimp C had more talent in his pinkie than 50 Cent has in his entire body.

Psycho: 9/10 50 changes up his flow on this track, which makes you wonder if Em wrote his verses. Both go hard on the track, and Em especially shines (what’s new?). Anytime you mention beating the Octomom with a Cabbage Patch kid you have my vote. Way to go Em. Topical and funny.

Hold Me Down: 4/10 Someone tell Scott Storch to stop doing coke. This beat is strangely bad, and really shows how far Scott Storch has fallen off. 50 Cent’s raps are tired and pointless. So far, it’s the worst song on the album. He must have put this on the album to do Scott Storch a favor. Trust me, he did not do him any favors by allowing millions to hear this track.

Crime Wave: 6.5/10 Another swagger track about guns, how itchy trigger fingers are and how much bullets burn. I don’t discount 50 Cents credibility on the knowledge of how getting shot feels, but I don’t need to hear about it a bunch of times. When did it become cool to get shot a bunch of times? 

Stretch: 9/10 Sha Money XL’s beat is pretty good. Song about selling drugs, but it’s pretty interesting.  I don’t know why I like this track, but it’s strangely hypnotic. “Streeeetch”…”Kurt Cocaine.” I don’t know if it’s clever but I like it. Haha.

Strong Enough: 7/10 Soulful beat. More lyrics about guns and how hardcore he is. Transitions into how much money he has. Then he disses his old crew. It kinda goes all over the place, but the lyrics are better and work well with the beat. 

Get It Hot: 5/10 Not really feeling this track. The beat by Nottz is kinda cool, but it doesn’t work all that great with 50. It clocks in at 2:59 and it feels long. That’s not a good sign. Nottz gonna listen to this song again…

Gangsta’s Delight: 9.5/10 Haha, this song is great. Remix the lyrics from Rapper’s Delight with a Dre beat. 50 has got some balls to redo a classic like this. Somehow, it works. The beat is grimey. I love the piano in the background.  The lyrics work. 50’s flow is perfect. So far, my favorite song on the album.

I Got Swag: 5/10 Did you know 50 Cent has a lot of money, as well as swagger? Me neither! Thank God he cleared it up on this track. Throwaway.

Baby By Me: 8.5/10 Ok, I get it. That’s kinda clever: “Have a baby by me baby, be a millionaire” Throw a Ne-Yo hook on it, and it’s a hit, right? Sorta. It’s overproduced by Polow da Don, but overall I think girls will like it. It’s likable for a chick track. After 12 songs about shooting people and selling drugs, it’s a nice break. 

Do You Think About Me: 7/10 Another girl track but it’s more laid back. It’s not as catchy, but not terrible. I feel like they should have put it somewhere else on the CD to break up the two softer songs.

Ok, You’re Right: 7/10 The only previously released song that actually made the CD. It’s pretty good, but I don’t really like the chorus that much. I actually liked the song “Get Up” more, and am kinda surprised it didn’t make the CD. 

Could’ve Been You: 7/10 Weird song but it flows well. R. Kelly is singing about smelling shit. 50 Cent does alright on the track, but it’s strange to have as a closing song. 

Overall: 7.5/10 (Don’t know if my math worked out on that at all) 

Final impression is that it’s better than Curtis, but the subject matter was too focused on guns and drugs. There were too many generic songs that had no clear message. Half of them were just excuses to rap about killing people with a different chorus for each song. If he would have taken a few of those tracks off and had a few tracks that told a story or had different subject matter, the CD would have been great.

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First “Watchmen” Review!

http://nerdworld.blogs.time.com/2009/02/16/my-own-private-watchmen/

The guys over at Time magazine got a sneak peek at the new “Watchmen” movie, and shared their initial reaction, minus big details. Since there is an embargo on reviews until March 6th, this is all they could muster. I can’t wait to see this movie and think it will be amazing. I just read the graphic novel for the first time a month ago and thought it was fantastic. It looks like Zack Snyder got most of the elements right, and it should be one of the better comic to film adaptations. Enjoy!

Metallica- “The End of the Line” review, 9/10

I never I thought I’d say this, but parts of this song remind of Rage Against The Machine. There are a couple riffs that sound like they could have easily come off of Evil Empire or Battle For Los Angeles. And that’s a good thing, by the way. It’s getting pretty redundant reviewing every track, because I have nothing but good things to say about them. They all thrash, have great choruses, and are catchy as hell. What more can you ask for? “The End of the Line” is no exception.

9/10

Metallica- “The Unforgiven III” review, 9/10

This was the one song on Death Magnetic I was worried about, mainly because I thought it would be a rehash of the past two versions. Turns out that it isn’t at all, and the song is pretty amazing. It starts out similar to their concert intro, “Ecstacy of Gold”, off of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It builds for a minute or two, before the song starts going. James Hetfield sounds great on the track, as does everybody else.

Once the 5 and a half minute mark hits, Hammett unleashes a great solo. All 7 and a half minutes of the song work well, and although it isn’t as great as the original “The Unforgiven”, it is better than “The Unforgiven II”

9/10

Metallica- “My Apocalypse” review, 8.5/10

“My Apocalypse” is the third song to be released off of Death Magnetic, and it is a dousy. It is the fastest and most brutal of the three, but it’s not the best. It reminds me of “Dyers Eve” and “Battery”, but more raw and less memorable. That’s not to say that it is bad, because it isn’t. Far from it. Like “The Day That Never Comes”, it lacks a certain cohesion, and is all over the place.

The problem with me is that I just like hearing Metallica rock out for 5 minutes, so the lack of cohesion isn’t that big of a deal to my bleeding ears. It doesn’t have a discernable chorus, but the song moves at such a break neck speed that stopping for a chorus seems like a bad idea.

Overall, I think this song is the worst of the three, but it still kicks ass. When I buy this cd I might use this song to wake up to. Since it is named “My Apocalypse”, it sets a great tone for starting the day.

8.5/10

Metallica- “Cyanide” review, 10/10

Ok, so I’ve officially become obsessed with the new Metallica cd, Death Magnetic. “My Apocalypse” came out today, and as far as I’m concerned, they are 3 for 3. “Cyanide” is my favorite out of the three, but they’re all good. The thing I like about “Cyanide” is that it has the most coherent song structure, and has all the elements that make Metallica great. Hammett’s riffs are sinister as hell, Trujillo’s bass helps the song groove, Hetfield’s vocal inflection is perfect, and Ulrich is competent…as always.

It’s pretty sad that Trujillo has only been with the band a few years, and his presence is already felt more than anytime Jason Newsted played for them. That’s not to say he was bad, he just didn’t have a lot to do. Trujillo’s bouncing groove that starts off the song is great, and it continues throughout, giving the song more depth.

The driving riff throughout the song is menacing, and is the perfect complement to both the lyrics and Hetfield’s voice. The chorus works perfectly in this song, to the point where I think this song will be the best on the album.

I don’t really know what else to say about the song, except that I recommend listening to it about 50 times. I have yet to get tired of it, and I’ve probably doubled that amount.

10/10

Lupe Fiasco: The Cool Review 9/10

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Lupe Fiasco has had a very interesting career. His first album, Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor, was leaked so far in advance, that by the time it was released, the demand had pretty much died out. It lead to poor album sales and his overall disdain for prepping his second album. Food and Liquor was absolutely amazing, and The Cool is no different. It features a wide variety of vivid imagery, coupled with solid production and minimal guest appearances.

The album starts out with his sister reading street poetry, and quickly moves into another interlude honoring Lupe’s incarcerated manager. After those two, the albums first track, “Go Go Gadget Flow” explodes out the gates. It is a great starting point for the album, and shows Lupe’s ability to rap fast while still using lyrics that aren’t watered down. The album continues with great songs like “The Coolest” and his hit single “Superstar”. Although this album has a concept, it isn’t really fleshed out like it was in the song “The Cool” off of his last album. Lupe instead weaves shorter storylines throughout the album without a strong cohesive element. Tracks like “Hi-Definition” disappoint, because they seem out of place on this album.

Aside from the mediocre “Hi-Definition” and the predictable and self aware “Dumb it Down”, the album is laced with pure fire. Lupe has always been a great lyricist, and his sophomore album paints an amazing picture of life on the streets and the struggle to get by.

I highly recommend this cd for anyone looking for music that not only sounds amazing, but has a message behind it as well. Lupe Fiasco is 2 for 2, and will hopefully continue to make fantastic music in a genre that seems to be getting worse by the minute.

9/10