Consequence has fought an uphill battle since the beginning of his career at 16 years old. First appearing on A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders, then becoming a satellite member of the group on Beats, Rhymes, & Life, Cons eventually would score a solo deal with Elektra Records. Although the label ceased operations before the release of his album, he recorded an LP’s worth of material with the likes of J. Dilla, Q-Tip, Mobb Deep, and Busta Rhymes. Cons got a second chance at the rap game when he was taken under the wing of Kanye West, who signed him to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint under Columbia for the release of his aptly titled, Don’t Quit Your Day Job, which opened on the Billboard charts to a paltry 7000 copies. While it seemed like his fate was sealed, Cons defies expectations with the release of Movies On Demand, a free downloadable mixtape album, in anticipation for his forthcoming Universal Motown / G.O.O.D. Music full-length Cons TV.
Surprisingly, Consequence does not take the standard approach of every other rapper, by simply grabbing the hottest beats and freestyling over them. Instead, Movies On Demand acts more like an album, complete with original songs, high profile guest appearances, and high production value. No DJ’s shouting over the music, attempting to mix, or tagging the music with explosions; instead, 13 full-length tracks in their entirety.
Unlike a major label LP, the free album allows for greater creative freedom than one might find on your average Best Buy ready long-player. There’s no need to clear samples or interpolations on something used on a promotional basis, as songs like “Don’t Stand So Close” brilliantly re-imagines the Police classic, or “The More I Get” pays homage to Teddy Pendergrass, as Cons shares mic duties with Rick Ross. The employment of sample driven music has always created a better sound for hip-hop than the standardized keyboard synth of today, and Cons proves this on tracks like the vibey “Sounds G.O.O.D. 2 Me”, “Life Is Short”, and the incredible posse cut “It’s G.O.O.D Music” featuring Common and Talib Kweli.
Speaking of collaborations, Movies On Demand is ripe with them, and shows just how well connected Consequence is throughout the industry. “Childish Games” finds him linking up with a vastly improved Asher Roth, while “Let You Live” finds him taking it back to the underground mixshow era, trading rhymes with Pharoahe Monch over the murkiest of basement beats. While the remix of Q-Tip’s “We Fight, We Love” with Kanye impresses, the album’s most jaw dropping moment is the star-studded “Whatever U Want (G.O.O.D. Vs. Bad Megamix)”, which alternates between hip-hop heroes and villains, as each Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Diddy, Common, The Lox, and John Legend each trade 8 bars in a remix that celebrates the original.
While it remains to be seen what Cons TV will offer, as the major label machine tends to corrupt the final product by the time it hits shelves, virtual or otherwise. Nevertheless, it’s good to see that the long road of hard work has paid off for Consequence, as it seems he is finally getting the respect and admiration throughout the industry that he deserves. Perhaps a greater demand is in order.
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