BlakRoc BlakRoc



This album is really goddamn good. There’s a good deal of hype, sure, but with the internet and everything being all “viral” and shit, its impossible to assemble the type of personnel found on this album without some internet buzz and lofty expectations. But the Damon Dash project made up of The Black Keys and some of hip hops undisputed elite, delivers the goods. Blakroc exceeded my expectations on such a convoluted level that I don’t know whether I should include some diagrams and flow charts or put together a powerpoint to explain my interweaving thought process for whether this was going to be the best thing ever or completely overrated and ruined by the hype machine. But the fact of the matter is, its really goddamn good.

But if you ignore the hype, the names and the concept, what you’ll realize is; this is what Jesus meant by “rap-rock”. If and only IF you can put together MC’s like Ludacris, ODB, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Raekwon and the RZA along with pro’s like The Black Keys will this musical enigma succeed on any level. But I’m not sure if even Jesus could have imagined a lineup of MC’s this good and a band this perfect and complementary for this whole “rap-rock” idea.

ODB and Ludacris are a perfect pairing on the opening track and the Jim Jones track with Mos singing the hook are the standouts as well as huge surprise in NOE on two tracks, that will definitely make you look at your speakers and say “who is that?”. But Blakroc’s glue is all the instrumental provided by The Black Keys. The drums are noticeably crisp for a hip hop album and provide such a commanding cadence for each featured artist, and the guitar, although kind of a secondary player on each track, has a way of almost talking back in between lines as if it were playing a duet. It’s subtle, but these subtle instrumental nuances provide refreshing, re-listenable qualities to the album that you don’t always get in hip hop.

I’m a little hesitant to believe that Blakroc is going to turn fans of one genre onto the other, but its like when Swingers first came out back in the early-mid 90’s and it was still kinda indie-ish and not everyone knew about it; but everyone who did had the same understanding and appreciation for what a good movie it was, even if you never got into swing or wearing zoot suits.

BlakRoc, reviewed by Delicious on 2009-11-26T13:18:01-08:00 rating 4.1 out of 5

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