Lets face it. I’m not the biggest fan of commercial R&B. No offense to anyone who digs Omarion, Chris Brown, or Ne-yo. They make decent songs. But I just truly feel that I have to be a 14 year old girl to appreciate what they’re trying to do.
However, Atlanta’s Lloyd is a bit different from the dudes mentioned above. He’s a crooner, and his first singles “You” and “Valentine” are a cut above the mass produced hype that permeates radio with the former marking Andre 3000s first forays back into rap. “Get it Shawty” is a club banger, and I’m actually surprised that its not tearing up more dance floors. Anyway, Lloyd must love the 80’s ballads. “You” samples Spandau Ballet, and “One for Me” samples Art of Noise’s Moments in Love (most famously sampled in The 69 Boyz “Tootsie Roll” remix, and there’s even a subtle shout out to Technotronic. I can’t hate on the dude for that.
Devin The Dude
Waiting to Inhale
If hip-hop is dead, then storytelling rap has already decomposed and returned back into the earth. However, there are some people trying to keep the art of storytellin’ alive. Take Houston’s Devin the Dude. Waiting to Inhale drops the bling and focuses on a regular dude just trying to get by. The high cost of things permeate the first few tracks of the disc. Devin raps about the high cost of acquiring a female companion (“She Want The Money”), and how gas prices are preventing him from getting his mack on with the honeys (“Almighty Dollar”). Said song has the best chorus of 2007. “Hobos used to ask you for a dollar/but now the muthaf**kas ask you for three.” True dat.
Waiting to Inhale’s first single “What a Job,” might be one of the best hip-hop singles I’ve hear this year, and of course features our boy Andre 3000 rapping and he kills it again. I gotta apologize to Sach from Oh Word. I criticized him when he got mad at Andre for doing his R&B thing. I gotta admit Dre is a better rapper than singer. Love Below was still my jam though.
Anyway, back to Devin. Most of the album is alright, though forgettable. The interludes (“Boom”) are funny for a minute but get old. And Lil’ Wayne collabo “Little Girl Gone” is just weak and out of place. WTF is up with rappers trying to be all female conscious all of a sudden?