The track titles on Middle Class Ignorance tell you all you need to know: “The Uprising” and “Triumphant” are demands for Pavy’s community to “rise up” and “reign triumphant”. “Stream of Consciousness” is three and a half minutes of angry rambling welded sloppily onto an instrumental that was sloppy to begin with. “Mission Statement” finds Pavy putting the rap world on high alert over a ho-hum beat; if that beat was a person, it would be a 40-year old holistic nutritionist on a late night cat food run to Safeway. Then there’s “Typical Gangsta Shit”, which is about as subtle as a stroke with fake DJ shout-outs, screams, and over-the-top lyrics about the mediocrity of gangsta rap. Say what you want about the sub-genre Freddie Gibbs raps in; none of his songs are immediately unlistenable because he made them that way on purpose.
Pavy puts together some good rhymes on nearly every track, but there’s not enough meat on Middle Class Ignorance to justify its length. There are about 5 concepts on the album, repeated over 16 tracks for nearly 70 minutes, and it doesn’t help that Pavy’s guest list is so thin. Midwest rookies D2G and Vic Spencer get the lion’s share of guest bars, leaving us with a solid hour of Pavy complaining about the state of hip-hop and touting self-reliance over beats so anemic they make Clams Casino sound as hard as Rick Rubin.
There are plenty of worse things in hip-hop than another self-help club rapper in need of a good producer; after all, this is the year Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane made an album together. But the facts can’t be ignored: there are dozens of rappers doing almost the exact same thing as Pavy, just a whole lot better.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.