26 March, 2011@3:56 am
Travis Barker has led one of the most interesting and storied careers as an artist, from his humble beginnings as drummer for Blink 182 to performing with DJ AM at different spots on the globe. Tragedy struck Barker in 2008, after surviving a Lear Jet plane crash alongside DJ AM, while four others died. DJ AM would be found dead less than a year later, with rumors suggesting post-traumatic stress syndrome induced drug-overdose as the culprit. As Barker heals from the events of the last few years, he looks to solidify his place as a solo artist with Give The Drummer Some.
A compilation album that features Travis providing the breaks for many of your favorite emcees, Give The Drummer Some shows a side of Barker’s music previously only seen at live performances. Anyone that has witnessed this in the flesh at the live performances can attest to the amazing product that is delivered when Travis beats the drums while the DJ cuts and the emcee rocks it. But how does it translate to disc?
The album kicks off with “Can A Drummer Get Some”, a packed posse cut that features verses from The Game, Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross, and Swizz Beatz. While each of the emcees does their thing, Travis clearly takes the spotlight here, with his aggressive style of production, which permeates the entire LP. While this is cool at first, it does begin to take it’s toll at times, with many tracks sounding indistinguishable from one another. While the appearances from RZA and Raekwon on “Carry It”, Cypress Hill on “Beat Goes On”, or Bun B and Tech N9ne on “Raw Sh*t” are all dope, each of these tracks have a hard time carving out their own identities. On the solo tip, strangely the usually reliable Lupe Fiasco and Kid Cudi each deliver passable tracks with “If You Want To” and “Cool Head”, respectively.
There are some greater standout moments within the LP, however. Slaughterhouse’s brooding “Devil’s Got A Hold Of Me” travels into dark territory, getting more depraved as the beat goes on. The Cool Kids also shine here, with their sly jacking of Beastie Boys “So Whatcha Want” on “Jump Down”. The crown jewel however is “Let’s Go”, a Lil’ Jon propelled quadruple-time banger, finding Busta Rhymes, Twista, and Yelawolf competing for the fastest bars.
While all the right rappers are employed here, truthfully the chemistry between themselves and Barker’s beats is rarely spot on. Many of these guys are out of their element here, so the sound we might be used to hearing them on isn’t present, leaving a weird taste in the mouth. While it is clear that this LP runs rampant with strong lyrics and true talent in Barker’s drumming, ultimately the execution is what keeps it from being a runaway smash.
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