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Inspired by The Wire…the Brick City New Jeru Avon Barksdale…”

First off, we have to give credit to any MC who references HBO’s The Wire.  There’s no reason for the hip-hop world not to be obsessed with the show (except maybe for it’s porous fifth season and difficult to get through second, but that’s another matter).  Tame One is not shy when it comes to comparisons, and it doesn’t end with Avon.  In the first couple of songs he’s putting himself up there with Tupac and Christopher Wallace.  And, of course, the title is a direct reference to Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

Formerly a member of the group Artifacts, Tame attempts to follow in a New Jersey tradition of, and I say this with affection, dirtbag MC’s like ODB and Redman.  However, the humor, skill and likability of the aforementioned artists are not displayed on Da Ol’ Jersey Bastard: Live & Uncut.

Tame starts losing the listener on “Move,” an oddly lazy dance track, that ends with an extended interlude of a drunk driving arrest.  Tame’s flow, as it is, sounds somewhat like he’s drunk all the time.  Certainly the same could have been said for ODB, but in this case it doesn’t work for this critic.  It just grows tiresome.

“Milk of Magnesia,” though, is an energetic, horn-filled track, that has Tame going “spur of the moment like Tim Duncan.”  A playful, off-the-cuff flow is infectious here with Tame boasting, “I’m mentally slowa/than Rocky Balboa.”

The production work on Da Ol’ Jersey Bastard by Parallel Thought also deserves some credit.  It’s got that old Curtis Mayfield-style, 1970s, soulful type of feel.  Granted, that sound is getting very close to being overdone in hip-hop, but it’s still probably better than a generic club sound. “Catch Me” featuring Del the Funky Homosapien is a highlight in this regard.

“For You” is another very soulful track, but it’s spoiled by some just plain bad dirty talk rhymes from Tame:  “Hittin’ the tit/as much dick as she git/it’s never enough for a bitch…I bust a niggy-nut out on the cheek…”

“The Night Cap,” again, will have heads swaying side to side, wanting to wear a big-collared shirt, a hat with a feather in it and a long leather coat.  But unless you’re really into this old soulful sound, you may not want to stick around for Tame One’s rambling. - Stefan Schumacher

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