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© 2004 The Beast

Reviews:

J-Zone

Lil Wayne

Garden State Soundtrack






J-Zone

A Friendly Game of Basketball

Like 3rd Son, I am a fan of J-Zone. He is a dope producer and spits lyrics indicative of an innovative emcee. The single "A Friendly Game of Basketball" is classic J-Zone at his finest. Telling people how sick he is of watching all these rappers and actors on "MTV Cribs" playing basketball at their homes, he goes right at them, calling them a bunch of "non lay-up-making muthafuckas." The track is humorous and does not lack name-calling by any means, containing comedic shots at Bow Wow, bitch-ass Nelly, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Master P, Jermaine Duprie, Justin Timberlake, and more. Hopefully none of those mentioned take offense to this. I mean the chorus is "ball players wanna rap/ rappers wanna ball/ make my day/ I'm laughing at them all/ I'm just out to get fame/ so while I'm fisting your game/ I'm just/ looking for attention by calling your name." He even goes so far as to say he'll play them to 11 and spot them 5 while rocking golf shoes. Now that's game!

J-Zone claims to be an awesome basketball player but admits he will drop more bricks than Home Depot but will look pretty doing it. Wonder if he's down to play Emcee Sick? What made me laugh the most was when he said "A-yo Kobe, don't think I forgot you dogg. Up there rapping with Brian McKnight and shit." Well if the American justice holds true, Kobe will buy his way out of his Colorado rape case and maybe Zone can get a game of 21 with the crybaby millionaire. Sorry Kobe, your bitching will be your downfall as you watch Shaq raise the NBA championship right before your eyes. Overall, this is a good single and is definitely worthy of membership in DJ Lo Pro's record collection. 3 tomatoes.

-Ketchup Samurai


Lil Wayne

Tha Carter

"The best rapper alive, since the best rapper retired,” that is what Lil Wayne proclaims on his fourth studio album, Tha Carter. Are you fucking kidding me? The best rapper? Please, Lil Wayne, the only rapper you are is the wrapper I throw away after sex. You've got as much talent on the mic as President Bush. People listen up: This album is one of the worst releases since the debut of gonorrhea. Yes Wayne, you're a multi-platinum "rapper." And yes you're on your 4th solo album. But do you really think that real hip-hop heads consider you the best rapper alive, let alone a rapper in general? I love the fact that this album is 21 tracks long, and I've fast-forwarded every one. Tracks like "Tha Heat,” "Who Wanner,” "Snitch,” "Hoes,” and "Ain't That Bitch” really showcase your love for life, women, and non-violence. Now, some people say this album is decent. Whether they're serious or just fucking with my emotions is the real question.

Who knows, maybe I'll listen to it again and have to write an apologetic review where I go back on my words and say, "Lil Wayne is a dope emcee!" Yea right. You've got a better chance of seeing Keith Concept and Covert smoking an acid laced blunt with the Pope. I do give credit to a couple tracks on this album. The track "BM J.R." is a crazy dark representation of Lil Wayne's thought process, and he spits the line "On the capitol only key to survive is kill/ if the elements don't murder you the riders will. For real/ and niggas know I go hard to the fullest/ get involved and I got 'em playing dodge ball wit bullets.” And the other track I'll give credit to is "I Miss My Dawgs" where he addresses his former Hot Boyz, and reminisces about the good times spent with Juvenile, B.G. & Turk.

Now as many of you know, I do consider myself to be a hater. But with that comes responsibilities. And I feel my responsibilities to the hip-hop public are as follows: Hate, hate, hate, and keep the public from wasting their money. Sometimes it backfires, and sometimes it gets a good laugh. I accept that. What I don't accept is less than stellar music by cats who have unrealistic visions of grandeur. They're premature, wack, and have no place in my album collection. Shame on half of those BVS kids who think Lil Wayne is the shit. Sorry Cameron, your mind is clouded and your idea of good hip-hop is as true as George Bush being a great President. I give it 2 out of 5 tomatoes, only because X-Now thinks it's decent and it's Lil Wayne's best album to date. That's not saying much.

-Ketchup Samurai


Garden State

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

I haven’t seen Garden State. I knew what it was about, but now I can’t remember. So I really can’t explain the context of the songs included in the soundtrack. I know it stars Zach Braff, who also wrote and directed the film.

In the Garden State CD booklet there are some photos and some scattered dialogue. One line in particular resonates: “You gotta hear this song, it’ll change your life I promise you.” How many times have I heard that before? Either I’ve said it or someone said it to me as they played me a song with a big grin on their face. It’s a pretty bold statement, and it raises expectations.

The soundtrack is like a mix tape from Zach Braff. It’s a collection of songs he chose for the film he wrote, and they obviously resonate with him.

A mix tape is almost like a photograph. A photo captures a certain moment in time; what a person looked like at that exact moment, as well as some hidden information about who they are. The mix captures its creator’s mindset and personal preferences at a particular moment in life. The song choices, rhythm and pacing are essential, and they cut to the core of the mix-maker and give the listener a window into his soul.

The mix here lets us catch a glimpse of what Braff is all about. His collection of low-key indie pop brings the term “laid back” tp mind rather frequently. It’s amazing, really; this soundtrack sounds just like something post-collegiate intellectual white kids listen to when they have sex in the dark with only a candle to guide their way.

If that’s your scene, then this soundtrack is for you, my friend. If not, then there are a couple of artists on here that you really should hear, like the Shins, Nick Drake, and Iron and Wine. If you already know who those people are then move along. There aren’t many new cuts, except for the Iron and Wine track, which is typical Sam Beam material but good nonetheless.

So whether any of these songs will change your life remains to be seen. If you know someone that was raised on the `90s “Friends” culture of looking good and being witty and drinking warm coffee from big cups, then you should pick this up for them.

-Eric Syms



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