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by
12 January, 2005@12:00 am
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    As former Antipop Consortium member Beans put the pedal to the metal on “Blind Driver”, “I’m young, black, and ain’t got nothing to lose, Man, I walk a tight-rope wearing two left shoes,” it’s not hard to predict the direction that this album will move in. If Shock City Maverick does not find it’s way to the “alternative” section of hip-hop’s category, it’s hard to imagine what else would.

     An odd eclectic mix of the old school and poetic Beans jumbled with what can best be described as experimental hip-hop production forms Shock City Maverick ? a large dosage of words skewed through and through that luckily includes a lyrical breakdown in the liner notes.
On “Shock City Maverick,” the album’s title track, Beans takes the time to describe his lyrical style as, “SARS plus syphilis with a lemon twist…and a cherry on top,” leaving little to the imagination, as when Beans says he’s “sick,” he’s not kidding. (“It’s magic when I spit these prose, Suppose if I pulled a rabbit out of my ass and called it a rose, Presto, change-o, Saw a woman in half, replace her head with a giraffe,” he goes on to rap on the same track.)

     Beans takes the time out to leave the “crowd screaming like a dick caught in a zipper” on “Death By Sophistication.” With references like this strewn throughout Shock City Maverick, it sometimes becomes a challenge just to know where Beans’ mind is and exactly what he wants to get across to his audience. His breathless and quick-paced delivery is as impressive as it is disturbing at times with a definite “taster’s choice” value to it that will surely have commercial hip-hop fans leaving this release for the coffee house emcee lovers. “Shards of Glass,” “City Hawk,” and “I’ll Melt With You” all continue down the jolting path that Beans leads with his seemingly endless and twisted rhyme book rehashing his notes along the way. His rhyme style seems to strive to have the charisma and charm that, say an MF Doom or similar emcee, commands on the microphone, with Beans often fighting back the beat of a song and going off-key purposely with choppy or negligent pauses just to make his own voice stand out.
Surprisingly, the most appealing production and material on Shock City Maverick comes in the form of several instrumental tracks, most notably, “You’re Dead, Let’s Disco,” where the speaker’s tweeters get tickled-to-death all while church bells churn out what sounds like a Sunday morning choir ? simple, yet effective against the backdrop of an otherwise experimental sound throughout the remainder of the disc.

     Still, with rhymes like, “It’s the big dick mentality, stunt cock commando, Anal sex assualt rifle, Rectum Rambo,” (“Diamond Halo Grenade”), it does not take long to see the difference between Beans and other rappers. If you’ve got parents or friends that just got used to the harsh words of gangster rappers, imagine how surprised they will be with what’s invaded the coffee house-type emcee. Shock City might just be a little bit too much shocking for the average hip-hop fan to handle right now.

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