Music
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Dame Grease

Goon Musik

(Baby Grande; US: 27 May 2008; UK: Available as import; Canada release date: 10 Jun 2008)

By and large, mainstream gangsta rap has devolved to the point that it merely recycles prejudicial and materialistic themes over terribly simplistic beats, often soiling the memory of funk and soul greats in their choice of samples. While the lyrics throughout Dame Grease’s solo debut do little to reframe thematic opinions of the genre, there is a little something different and interesting about it’s beats worth crediting. Dame is the man responsible for DMX’s grimy sound as well as hits for the likes of Jay-Z, The Lox, Nas, Kelis, and a laundry list of other industry notables. He’s got skills behind a console, and that shows itself in the simple but effective drum machine beats and warm, analog synths that constitute the Goon Musik instrumentals. As an album, though, this producer needs a producer. The pacing from start to finish is choppy and some of the tracks are mixed on the muddy side of sloppy. If it was consistently smoother and more defined, the power position he tries to claim in his rhymes would be much more believable. As is, you have to actively listen for Grease’s potential between a lot of gunfire and inappropriate fuzz.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.


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