One of the few artists able to reinvent himself after his major label prime had passed, former Artifacts member Tame-One successfully aligned himself with the right artists on his Eastern Conference debut, When Rappers Attack. Enlisting producers RJD2, J-Zone, Camu Tao, and DJ Mighty Mi, Tame updated his sound to match today’s underground standard, and further cemented his longevity by joining up with Cage to form the Leak Bros with the release of Waterworld. While Waterworld had a different sound than anything Tame had release prior to it, it was arguably on par with his material from the original Artifacts era. Looking to continue to solidify his buzz, Tame follows up with his second solo LP, O.G. Bobby Johnson.
Unfortunately, not to judge a book by it’s cover, but its evident from even the cover art that not much time or focus was put into Tame’s sophomore solo release. Trading his all-star line-up of producers for a group of less-than-stellar newbies, the difference in overall quality between this LP and his last is easily spotted. The dismal “Arizona Iced Tea” borrows a Bob Marley sample that goes on for five minutes too long, as Tame does his thing, only to be driven into the ground by a few lousy guest appearances (not to mention “some pilled up studio rat”). “Get A Jar” is another lo-fi, sleep inducing track that again sounds like it was recorded in a closet; while posse cuts “Get Paid” and “Soliderz” drag on incessantly. While the eerie “Notda Okeydoke” sounds like it would have been a better addition on “Waterworld”, one wonders if that was it’s original intent, with only one minute and thirty seconds of lyrics from Tame, then three-and-a-half minutes of instrumental. Then of course there is “Toxic”, an irrelevant, venomous, (and yes, depressing) dis at Tame’s former Artifacts co-pilot, El Da Sensai. What’s the point?
Granted, while this album is definitely a step down, it does have enough average moments on it to balance it out and carry it through. Despite his limited subject matter these days (read: drugs), Tame is no slouch in the lyrical department. And yes, his local producers are still able to churn out a decent track or two, even though E.C. staple producer DJ Mighty Mi holds the highest standard of production on this LP (“High Fidelity”). The heavy “Blackout Status” starts the album off nicely, while the rugged “Hydromatic” carries things along nicely. Tame plays his loose-knit ties to his Brick City brethren to the hilt on this LP, on the abrasive Redman cover, “Moccafella” and his tribute to the Pump Pistol Posse, on “P.P.P. (The Same Umbrella)”, where Tame lets loose over a phat loop picked out by DJ Porno.
Tame-One has enough moments on O.G. Bobby Johnson to make this an average record, but it pales in comparison to most other projects he has been involved with throughout his career. Hopefully, for the sake of the future of Tame’s career as a solo artist, a stronger sense of quality control will be used next time around.
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