13 April, 2005@12:00 am
It was inevitable. Vast Aire and Mighty Mi just had to do an album together. The styles just fit together. Mighty Mi’s incredible work behind the boards coupled with Vast Aire’s lingering flow sounds like a good fit, right? Well, that is the attempt made here with a cool collection of scathing taunts coupled with menacing backdrops with the release of the much hyped union appropriately titled The Best Damn Rap Show.
So just what does make The Best Damn Rap Show? Well, for one the idea that hip-hop has forgone a commercial face lift that has left the idea of emcee and producer simply tearing tracks to shreds crushed underneath the treads of 27″ rims with requisite spinners. In order to truly make The Best Damn Rap Show, the culture has to be taken back to the essence. That is exactly what Vast and Mighty Mi aim to do here.
Utilizing the one emcee/one deejay concept, The Best Damn Rap Show is a collage of battle inspired mic wrecking coupled with wall shaking boom bap. Mighty Mi stands out as producer de jour with some simply stellar production. While plugging away lines like “you could leave with a crooked lip/doing the Bo Jackson with a broken hip,” Vast Aire continues to tread the thin line between witty lyricist and flat out corny at times. But Vast’s rants (“I know you like to bubble but don’t get your soda popped”) can at times be burdensome when surrounded by Mighty Mi’s soundscapes. The pulsating keys of “Taboo” shield Vast’s awkward style from any criticism. Vast does come correct on the haunting sounds of “The Workover” as he displays a knack for pounding out a delicate narrative that, when coupled with his style, demand the listener to hold their ears close to the speakers in order to take in every syllable. Another powerful cut comes in the form of “Buck 50 Express” which showcases the duo in one of the finer moments of the album. Head snapping handclaps surrounded by moving guitar clips make for a notable track. Mi even adds some well placed instrumentals in the form of “Friendly Fire”, “Black Sunday” and “Aire Maestro” which further claim that he is a long unheralded producer whose work demands to be heard. There are some moments that could be done without such as the so-so “Fighter Pilots” where both Vast and Tame One deliver somewhat lackluster performances.
The only lingering problem is the fact that this isn’t The Best Damn Rap Show but could be billed as A Damn Good Rap Show. While the album truly isn’t the best we have ever heard (which is always an unfair assessment due to the fact that there is always better and worse) it is better than half the garbage out there today. While Vast still is an acquired taste to many, Mighty Mi continues to put it down behind the boards. And that is reason enough to tune in rather than tune out.
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