Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Best Rap Album of July 2011 - Game Tested, Streets Approved by Black Rob

July was an excellent month for rap music. Three were many hidden gems to be found. But I am not going to bore you with a long winded analysis of the state of rap music. Let me give you a few hot albums and quickly get into my selection.
From the U.K. the rap group Contact Play dropped an amazing album in July titled Champion Fraff. It is one of the best rap albums of the year from purely a musical standpoint. The lads lyrics are clever and whimsical in a very British way. Nice to see artists not attempting to mimic American rappers. I enjoy hearing unique voices of the hip hop culture from around the world. Check that album out.

Jay Rock released his album Follow Me Home paying homage to the West Coast but not in a screw everyone else I gang bang perspective you heard in the past from a lot of west coast rappers which honestly became derivative or played out as you might say. However, judging from many west coast artists releases this month that lesson has fallen on deaf ears.

Also from the Bay Area, Mistah F.A.B. dropped his second album of the year, The Grind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste, and was very close to being my pick this month. This cat gets it but he's not the young boy I thought he was. Not a knock because I'm not the young boy I used to be either, just an observation. His album is still worth more than a listen. Buy it.

Other decent albums to listen for are BlackenedWhite by MellowHype, Born to Win by Skit Slam, the group Black Folk, Inc and their Ode album and the artist The Fatboy with his self titled and frustrating album. To The Fatboy I have two suggestions for you homey. First, change your name your current tag is a killer on search engines and YouTube. No one can find you dude. Second, put a foot in the ass of the dude who produced the first five awful songs on your album. And if you produced them yourself kick your own ass because one more song the quality of the last nine and you sir would have been my choice of album of the month. Please take my advice to heart homey.

With that out of the way. My selection for Rap Album of the Month for July 2011 is from Black Rob with the album Game Tested, Streets Approved.

After doing a seven year bid for grand larceny former Bad Boy recording artist Black Rob hit the streets in May of 2010. Wasting very little time Black Rob got back to the lab and started working on singles and mix-tapes to get his sound back on the streets. One year later Black Rob surprisingly released an album not filled with bitterness or hatred.

Black Rob could very easily have made an album filled with blame and anger towards Sean “Diddy” Combs, the system or the streets for his circumstances. Black Rob however took a different path for the material on this album. He clearly missed his family as much as the streets, both of which he has profound love. But this love hasn't made him soft, it has made him grateful and it shows on every song.

In the song Celebration, Black Rob is celebrating the return to both his immediate family at home and his extended family in the streets of Harlem.

The Black Rob flow and word play that penned many a Bad Boy hit, many rapped by Diddy himself, not only holds up but is a breath of fresh air from the over simplified rhyme cadence of many rappers who became prominent while Black Rob was in the pen. Black Rob does however seem less concerned with staying on beat now and more focused on getting his point across. There is no lamp camp scamp bamp here. His lyrics have meaning and illustrate the story of an ex-con still ready to do battle on the mic with anyone but now values his freedom with a new sense of appreciation.

Not every song on this album is a masterpiece though. The fourteen song album is about four songs too many and more artists should really listen to legit A&R's when it comes to selecting tracks for their albums.

The songs that are good are really outstanding and should put Black Rob back on the map and maybe even a bigger star than he was before he was sentenced to jail.

The Rap Album of the Month for July 2011 is Game Tested, Streets Approved by Black Rob. Enjoy

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