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15 March, 2005@12:00 am

      “Aaiyo, Copperpot, I don’t know what you got cookin’, but I’m definitely loving what you got on the oven right now,” guest emcee Akbar narrates on the final full track of Chicago producer Copperpot’s debut album Chapter 7. And though this marks some of the final words of Chapter 7, the message comes across loud and clear: Copperpot may not always produce the normal dishes in the kitchen, but they sure do taste good when served properly.

       Copperpot’s story alone is intriguing enough and worthy of a listen ? unhappy with his first semester of college, the Chicago native split for Europe with nothing but a change of clothes, a desire for hip-hop music, and a stack of new credit cards. Inundated with debt these days, Copperpot’s Chapter 7 still manages to produce the after-effects of his European trip, as he weaves his way seamlessly between cartoonish and outside-of-the-box production coupled with odd sound bytes and bottom-of-the-crate samples (a la MF Doom or Madlib). Still, the productions of Copperpot only manage success when paired with the right supplementary emcee, as Ed O.G. proves over the xylophone sounds of “Take’N’Over.” While no Edo-Pete Rock imitation, Ed manages a true-to-heart effort on the microphone spitting, “See, I still got to have it, Edo’s back at it, took a second crack at it, ?Cause one too many crabs had it uncharismatic, And never did justice to the beats, now I want justice for the streets.”  Only on Mr. Complex’s “To Die For” does that raw street poetry emerge again, as Copperpot’s pianos click just enough for Complex to scold emcees, telling them that they cannot “half-ass the craft,” on a track that has been done before but rarely been quite as tasty.

      Much of the remainder of Chapter 7, however, is about as cohesive as Copperpot and monthly minimum payments on credit cards, as the punchline/simile format for most of the album draws little out of the production values from Copper. Akbar manages a few witty and clever lines (“I hold more mics than Bob Barker” or “I could make a wack emcee flee to Canada, Aw f?k it, you could kick the bucket like a janitor”) on the final treat of the album that is “15 Min,” but elsewhere, Chi-Town undergrounders Bamski and Profound (“Mflue”) and LongShot (“Menagerie”) fail to hold a candle, let alone a flame, to the Copperpot production that they are given. Not even Outsidaz member and long-anticipated solo act Pacewon can stop the bleeding on “It’s A Rap,” which sounds just Demigodz-ish enough to make Celph Titled fans foam at the mouth without actually getting to hear a Celph verse dropped.

      Flowing through the same vein as the aforementioned MF Doom or Madlib, Copperpot squeezes just enough amusement out of most of his productions to get the blood boiling in the heart of Chapter 7. Unfortunately (maybe due to a lack of funding, Cop?), the emcees chosen here are about as useful to Copperpot right now as a credit report. Some emcee consolidation and an injection of more creative writing credits could make for a more successful outcome next time around from the producer borrowing credit and off-the-wall samples at the same rate these days.

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