If Phil Da Agony’s Think Green is a nod to the environment, then there’s at least one good thing about the album – its content is entirely recycled.
Think Green gets off to such an awful start that it’s practically dead on arrival. First comes a skit, then there’s an intro–your obligatory shout outs to just about everyone this guy knows. This is sort of like when you open a book and there’s an introduction, then a prologue, plus an acknowledgements page. You’re ready to put it down before you even start the first chapter.
Finally, a song, “What it is” featuring Blaq Toven. What it is, is a song featuring one of the most pathetic hooks heard in some time. You’ll be very familiar with it, because you’ve heard it about a thousand times before. It goes, “You know what it is, now that’s gangsta/now that’s gangsta/diamond in the back, sunroof top/chillin’ back smokin’ on that green/now that’s gangsta.” That’s not gangsta, that’s played out. “Diamond in the back, sunroof top?” Seriously? How many times can this line be regurgitated? It goes all the way back to 1972 with William DeVaughn’s “Be Thankful for What You Got,” the basis for countless songs from each N.W.A., Ludacris, De La Soul, Pace Won and more. Enough is enough. If this is the best we can do, it means there is absolutely no effort being put towards creativity and the entire genre is doomed.
Phil Da Agony also says on “What it is” that he’s been in this “10 plus 10, that’s 20 years of Phil Da Agony in your ears.” He’s been in the game 20 years? This is probably not something he should admit to, because if these are the skills he’s developed over a 20-year span, he should’ve hung it up a long time ago. And if he’d been in your ears for that long, they’d be bleeding. Next Chapter compilation and all.
Think Green, of course, is not really about the environment, except for one song. It’s mostly weed worship and ridiculous bragging about being gangsta. Phil Da Agony is not capable of carrying an album on his own, and the guest appearances do him no favors. Talib Kweli shows up predictably a couple of times due to his loose knit Strong Arm Steady affiliation, but begs the question as to why he rolls with these guys to begin with.
“Black History” featuring Planet Asia is one of Phil’s rare attempts at substance and it’s almost insulting to hear him tell stories of his ancestors in the middle of an album so full of banality. The one moment of mild interest is “Think Green” featuring Kweli, in which Phil samples Al Gore and encourages us to take care of the earth, even giving us a handy reminder that “Earth Day is April 22nd/just thought I’d put it on record.”
We give Phil credit for being a conservationist, but unfortunately this garbage is only polluting. - Stefan Schumacher
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