He’s dead, ya’ll. If there was never any certainty about his non-physical presence, it’s the existence of Biggie Duets: The Final Chapter.
It’s a fucking mess.
Biggie Duets: The Final Chapter is not a collection of new material by any stretch of the imagination (save a slim few), it’s a remix album. Most of the songs contain vocal tracks from songs that were commercially-released on Biggie’s earlier CDs.
There’s nothing innovative about this CD.
Who cares that Biggie now has a track by Swizz if it’s only “Notorious Thugs”? Here, it’s “Spit Your Game”. C’mon, people, this shit is a no-brainer. “Notorious Thugs” was one of the most popular tracks from Life After Death and you mean to tell me you’re gonna change the name of it and pass it off like it’s something brand new? The shit is insulting.
The entire thing is packed with over-produced re-treads of the same shit we’ve heard before and every Biggie fan within earshot of it should be steaming mad. Biggie would never do these tracks this way. Period. There’s no justification for this blasphemy no matter what the folks at Bad Boy say. This album is the definition of imperfection.
Biggie has never been more dead. Final Chapter indeed!
Grade: D. And that’s only because “Whatchu Want” featuring Jay-Z and “Living in Pain” featuring Nas, Mary and ‘Pac are standouts, but that’s absolutely it. The rest of it is so bad that I felt sick listening to it.
Now it’s time for some love.
I love Mary J. Blige. I love her more than words can say. She’s like my big sista. I love her so much I hate her. This ain’t ambivalence or indifference, this is PASSION! There is no other artist working today that I hate and love this much simultaneously. She impresses me and disappoints all at once.
It ain’t no different on The Breakthrough.
In all fairness, the CD is really all about love, and it’s mostly evident in tracks like “No One Will Do” and “I’ve Found My Everything.” Both tracks have the kind of emotion and triumph that make a Mary song. In the former, JUSTICE (suspicious) League gives it to us Just (suspicious) Blaze style (think Usher’s “Throwback”) with its soulful sample and hip-hop aggression. It’s the perfect track #1.
But it’s the Raphael Saadiq-helmed “I’ve Found My Everything” that really serves the Mary we’ve been waiting to hear for years. The vocals and instrumentation are simply soaring and I get a knot in my throat every time I listen to it because you know for real and for certain that this is THE TRUTH. The track, for me, recalls what made House of Music such a beautiful underdog.
“Father in You” and “Alone” are the kind of smooth and mature tracks that made Mary my second favorite MJB album, and are perfect additions to her catalogue. Even “About You” with its basic sample-heavy hip-hop production is organic in its own way.
But unfortunately, I find myself skipping more tracks than I want to. “Can’t Hide From Love” has good intentions but doesn’t deliver. Her key borders on banshee and Jay-Z’s drops are not only unnecessary but don’t build up to a verse. “MJB Da MJB” works better as a buzz or mixtape track and is totally out of place here. Another miss with good intentions is her collaboration with U2 on “One”. I don’t see growth here. I see a song that belongs on a soundtrack or a bonus on U2′s greatest hits. This is not a Mary song.
Another disappointment is the existence of “Brooke”. This is the wrong CD to unveil a rapping alter. She’s come too far for that.
All of this is frustrating considering what was left off. “So Lady”, again produced Raphael Saadiq, is nowhere to be found on this release. You got to hit up iTunes or some resourceful friend to get this track. It’s refreshing to hear her sing about how her man has inspired her to behave and appear more ladylike.
Chalk it up to too many cooks in the kitchen or my own unwillingness to budge when it comes to her, but for someone that’s been at this for 15 years, I expect every track to be a fucking gem. I’m hard on her because I know what she’s capable of, and that she has the knowledge that the Beyonces and Keyshias and Fantasias don’t. This album is only a Breakthrough with respect to Love & Life, a CD I liked that was 10 years too late, grossly simplistic, misguided and desperate, but pretty fucking consistent straight through.
The evolution is evident if you can separate ideas from execution. You know what she was going for even if she didn’t succeed on every song. It’s hit and miss, but the hits are so strong that I’m feeling forgiving right now. She sounds damn good on this joint too and I have a feeling that some of the tracks I didn’t mention will grow on me. B-.
This week’s Top Tracks in iTunes via last.fm
He’s dead, ya’ll. If there was never any certainty about his non-physical presence, it’s the existence of Biggie Duets: The Final Chapter.
The rules: one song, one artist. Must have been released in 2005 or late enough in 2004 to warrant inclusion here.
Mariah Carey: “We Belong Together” Shit be so self-explanatory and obvious that I shouldn’t have to get into it, but I will. This song was the ultimate single for this crazy broad. The JD formula was in full effect. You know, the same one from “Burn”, Faith’s “Tru Love”, Tamia’s “Still”, etc, but it’s an effective one. The video… ahh, that video. I know I’m not the only one that does the Mimi imitation up against a wall with a sheet. Oh, I’m all alone? Moving on…
Destiny’s Child: “Cater 2 U” My second favorite slow joint of the year. Again, it was the video that really set it off. Kelly was ultra hot and Beyonce’s jiggling boobies really set that shit off. (Ok, I’m a sissy, but I’m also a Cancer and Cancer’s love nice tits). Is it just me, or did they steal that little dance from Jasmine Guy and them in School Daze? One wonders…
Keyshia Cole: “I Shoulda Cheated” Yup, still bumping this one, it being my third fave slow track of the year. Daron Jones is a genius when he puts his stank on it. This song really makes me think I can sing. (Too bad I can’t. Bitches.) Keyshia, we need to be best girlfriends so we can get together and say things like “Gurl that nigga ain’t shit” and “Sistuh you need to kick him to the curb”. Then we can do each other’s toenails and tell ghost stories. Call me, gurl!
Black Buddafly: “Rocka Bye” Smooth and sexy, but still a decent party joint. The hook and melody are so catchy. I hope they do something with these girls, although I’m pretty sure they are of the non-(Total, anyone?)-singing variety. This joint really makes me want to grind against the bf like I’own have no fucking sense.
Beanie Sigel ft. Peedi Peedi (Crack) and Twista: “Gotta Have It” Pure hotness!!! This is what made me buy the CD. I was hearing this shit every weekend on one of the hiphop shows on the radio here and got life each and every time. I just don’t understand what Peedi’s saying at the end… Additionally, he’ll have NO career talking that gibberish on every song. And I thought Freeway was annoying…..
The Game: “Put You On the Game” Talk about shade, I wasn’t really into this dude until he started talking shit about the Goon Unit (sorry, Banks, you cool and all but your boy Fiddy is out of order). This is one of Timbaland’s best, and it really represents for the west. This song goes on almost every DJ tape I make. Ol’ boy still gotta do something about them crop circles in his head though. BANGER!!!!
Amerie: “Talkin’ Bout” Rich Harrison and Amerie have an unequivical knack for making party joints with banging beats and next-to-no lyrics. This song is all about feeling, as a lot of her songs are. Again, it goes on every mixtape I make and the crowd reacts accordingly. Where’s the video? BTW, Amerie is like my favorite chick out right now. I want to have her kids.
Missy Elliott: “Can’t Stop” Another Rich Harrison joint (he really reps for my hometown *dap*) The shit is so hard that I’m glad Missy’s the one that got it. Why this song wasn’t a single is a mystery to me. Oh right, she chose “Teary Eyed”. Smart choice. Now lemme go circumcize myself.
Kanye West ft. Nas and Really Doe: “We Major” OMG!! I haven’t felt this way about a song since Kweli’s “Get By”. This shit just makes me wanna jump up and shout. That’s how liberating it is. Nas on a Roc-a-Fella record? Voluntarily?? Can we say “breakthrough”? Feelin’ that I neva-eva felt before to-day….Easily the best hip-hop joint of the year. It makes me appreciate this bullshit-ass genre. Hood-ass niggas….
Busta Rhymes: “Touch It” This is what happens when people cut their hair, didn’t you see Waiting to Exhale?? It’s a brand new Busta, yet he’s the same. It’s the bf’s number one right now, so it’s mine too. I’ll probably get tired of it in about 6 weeks, but I been going strong with this one for a while now. Now let’s see if he can have more than 1.5 decent singles this time. If the CD ever comes out.
Ok, I’m done. I’m interested in seeing everyone else’s. Wait– no I’m not. Mine rocks.
… there are some issues that need to be addressed.
Perspective: I was with the show in the beginning, even in it’s rough version. I liked it. I thought it was sexy and funny and had massive potential. I also had a MAJOR crush on Noah. I was excited for it when I heard it was being picked up by LOGO.
So it premiered and the feedback was almost split down the middle. Some complained that the characters were too feminine and that guys like Trey and Wade would never date dudes like Alex and Noah. Those complaints were very nit-picky to me. My issues had more to do with pacing and dialogue, but I overlooked it. STUPID ME.
Really, I was with it.
Fast-forward to last week (or the week before cuz I’m really trying to forget it) and that abysmal “season finale“. The Love Hater does a point-by-point breakdown of why the shit was so unforgivably, offensively bad, so I won’t get into that here. (But to sedate someone with a concussion? And Wade hits that hard he puts niggas out? WTF????)
SIDEBAR: The drag episode was awesome. A stand-out. But back to the bullshit.
Should I sign this?
I don’t wanna hear this shit about “It’s the only show we have so we have to support it”. That’s like telling me bullshit is the only thing on the menu so I have to eat it. No. Eat me.
SIDEBAR: The dude Noah had at the sex party was yummy.
The show is so disjointed and inconsistent and just downright ridiculous that in my opinion, it’s cancel-worthy. It’s not funny enough to justify or support how crazy it is and it certainly ain’t stylish enough. The only way I will get off my rant is if someone convinces me there will be a changing of the guard and they do a Dallas and pretend the entire first season was a dream.
MASSIVE POTENTIAL. I ain’t hatin’, mind you. I did hang in there for as long as I could. Tell me I’m wrong for this. Convince me to sign. I am open to a good damn reason why I should participate in saving this shit.
Yes, I’m really disappointed and I have no clue who’s at fault. The show was a lot better before it went to LOGO. Maybe I should be blamimg them. But PIP needs to own his shit and admit where he’s screwed up.
The shit was a mess.
And before I go, what the FUCK was up with that big-ass flower Noah was wearing in church a couple of weeks back? Darryl, stand up for your character! The wardrobe department has decided that Noah’s look should be “Clown Couture” and no one’s saying anything about it!! Utterly ridiculous. They have been able to get away with entirely too much bullshit on that show and they just rolling with it like it’s the most normal thing in the world. IT AIN’T!
It’s a trainwreck. Just pay it and cancel the motherfucker.
In other news, my first weekly chart at last.fm has been generated.
The Mashonda track is tagged all wrong, which is odd because I bought it from iTunes. I fixed it, but I played it a million times before I bothered to. I’ll have to listen to it 2 million times before the changes are reflected on the site.
But back to Noah. I am open to suggestions as to why I should sign the petition. Seriously. I’m soooo listening.
to rejuvenate the music industry and I’ve gone nucking futs!!!!
Songs purchased from iTunes over the past 48 hours:
P.I.M.P. (Snoop Dogg Remix) 50 Cent
If I Ain’t Got You (Kanye West Radio Mix #1) Alicia Keys
Do That… Baby, P Diddy, Mannie Fresh & Tateeze
Guess Who’s Back Beanie Sigel, Jay-Z & Scarface
Feel It Boy Beenie Man
Bossman Beenie Man
Rock-A-Bye (Radio Edit) Black Buddafly
Never Scared Bone Crusher & Cam’ron, Jadakiss & Busta Rhymes
The Boy Is Mine (Remix Featuring Shaunta) Brandy
Do Somethin’ Britney Spears
For the Nasty (Main) Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip
Crunk Muzik Cam’ron, Jim Jones & Juelz Santana
Knuck If You Buck Crime Mob & Lil’ Scrappy
Cater 2 U (Storch Remix Edit) Destiny’s Child
Can’t Let You Go (Main Remix Original Version) Fabolous
Careless Whisper George Michael
Ghost Showers Ghostface Killah
All That I Got Is You (featuring Mary J. Blige) Ghostface Killah
I Got It 2 Jagged Edge & Nas
Let Me Be the One Jaguar Wright
Yeah Yeah U Know It Keith Murray & Defsquad
Head Bussa Lil’ Scrappy
Head to Toe Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Rollout (My Business) Ludacris
Move Bitch Ludacris
Blackout (Main) [Dirty] Mashonda featuring Snoop Dogg
I Can’t Make a Mistake MC Lyte
Bridging the Gap Nas
Hella Good No Doubt
Whatchu Want (The Commission) [Featuring Jay-Z] The Notorious B.I.G.
God Is a DJ (D-Bop Remix) Pink
God Is a DJ (Spider Remix) Pink
Guess Who’s Back Rakim
Off the Wall Skillz
I’m Black Styles P.
Feel the Fire Teddy Pendergrass & Stephanie Mills
Best U Can Tha Liks
Gotta Go (Album Version) Trey Songz
Neva Eva (Remix) [Bonus Track] Trillville
Get Some Crunk in Yo System Trillville & Pastor Troy
My Boo (Bonus Track) Usher & Alicia Keys
Throwback Usher featuring Jadakiss
Party to Damascus Remix Wyclef Jean & Missy Elliott
Tear It Up Yung Wun featuring DMX, Lil’ Flip & David Banner
and Mos Def’s The New Danger
Yes my purchases are equal parts crunk and fruity. Instead of judging me, help me exorcise this shopping demon inside of me. Please!!!!
By the way, his name is Tre.
- Is it okay for me to call Ashton Kutcher “Ashy Coochie”?
- Isn’t another season of Making the Band starring Da Band just as superfluous as Return of the Dead Part 2?
- Should we be happy that Dave Chapelle is parodying Lil’ Jon, or cringe because Lil’ Jon has reached this level of popularity?
- Am I the only one hoping that the new Carl Thomas CD shuts Usher down?
- Who greenlighted Scooby Doo 2?
- How long before people start to find Cee-Lo sexy?
- Am I the only one that thinks J-Kwon’s “Tipsy” sounds like “Grindin’”?
- Isn’t American Idol the absolute worst this year?
- Considering the past few Wu-Tang albums, why are fans still hoping for their “comeback”?
- Now that Eightball & MJG have joined Bad Boy, does that mean Sean John brand gold fronts are in our near future?
- Has anyone decided whether or not “trill” is worth counting as a word?