No Country For Old Moufs – Over-30 Rap Record Round-Up

As time marches on, hip-hop is now at the stage where there are a significant number of rapper’s in their 30′s and 40′s releasing new music. No big deal, right? Except that now that internets record labels can release your album with a promotional budget of $50, all these characters who might have been left on the scrap heap back ten years back are allowed to release new albums! The ? Remains…is this a good thing? Let’s examine some of the flood of new rap records made by dudes who probably have kids old enough to make their own songs….

U-God – I know what you’re thinking, but Dopium works in a bizarre alternative universe where the Wu-Tang are based in Seattle. Mixed in with some superior ‘traditional’ Wu bangers are tributes to hoes, cars and coke, book-ended by three god-awful dance remixes. Sir Mix-A-Lot would be proud. Special mention to a dude called Scotty Wotty who sounds like he’s a huge fan of CL Smooth (is that a good or a bad thing?). A mix of the great, the weird and the awful.

Kurious – Many of us have fond memories of a young Jorge, who rhymed about dropping acid and chasing dames over some vintage Beatnuts and SD-50 beats. Fifteen years later, and Kurious is all grown-up, mature and sensible – except now he likes rapping over syrupy R&B tracks with a whole mess of singing. When he reunites with MF Doom and Kadi, the Magician seems to get some of that old spark back, but then the next track makes you wonder why he even bothered releasing this to public, as he often seems to be just going through the motions. Not without some rewarding moments for die-hard CM fans, but prepare for some hard work with II.

Grand Puba – The Grand Man must be on the wrong side of 40 by now, which ‘Ain’t No Crime’ as his man’s Pos K once declared, but it also makes it hard to his take his trademark tales of scooping honeys seriously, unless he’s hitting the local bingo hall. Equally infamous for his off-key singing voice, Puba makes perhaps the most called-for use of auto-tune since Biz Markie, and expands his ‘one socially conscious records per solo album’ quota to pretty much half the album, which is a wise move considering his songs about skinz lack the potency the once had. Even though the obligatory Brand Nu reunion is so phoned-in they couldn’t even make a new beat for it, Retroactive is light-years ahead of the last Pu record and is worth checking out for the Large Pro track alone.

Blaq Poet – A lot of people have expressed their complete disregard for Poet as a vocalist, but these naysayers are missing out on the staunchest champion of non-progressive, traditional Queensbridge rap this side of Tragedy Khadafi. Don’t make the mistake of writing him off as a one-trick pony either – cuts like ‘Voices’ and ‘Sichuwayshunz’ demonstrate solid conceptual songwriting, and Poet stands strong as a take-no-shit, gruff voiced elder statesmen of the straight-up raw. The Blaqprint is another essential chapter in the Screwball saga. How can you front on an album containing a song called ‘Stretch Marks and Cigarette Burns’?

Wu-Tang – Live band? 90′s MC features? Yeah, the concept for Chamber Music reeks of ‘cheap gimmick’ on first glance, but after a listen you immediately realize that this may be the hardest rap album released in 2009. G Rap, M.O.P. and Raekwon going in over raw drums and a sinister loop? Approved! RZA talking some blunted science in between tracks? Sure, why not. Order me two copies, stat!


Raekwon, M.O.P. & Kool G Rap – ‘Ill Figures’


25 Comments so far
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U-God’s first album with “Bizarre” and “Laydown” (with its over the top barage of automatic weaponry that comes off strong as hell) on it was strange and cool too… most ecstasy taking member of Wu? possibly.

Comment by luredrain 07.02.09 @

you’re definitely on point with this one, robbie! i’ve got no problems with pussy-chasing 40+ year old mufuckas although it feels like your favorite neighborhood bum is grabbin’ at some teenager skirts. nah, nothing wrong with the grand man, ‘retro active’ is nice…

Comment by Kool Max Power 07.02.09 @

nice post. u-god was med, but better than his other stuff, blaq poet goes hard, grand pub was tight, and the wu-tang joint is dope. i haven’t listened to kurious yet, but it didn’t look too hopeful.

Comment by WallySean 07.02.09 @

Its either listen to these old dudes try to come contemporary or hear the 20 something guys imitate the old dudes’ rhyme patterns and beats from ’95. I’ll join the Slammin Seniors club and get my discount!

Comment by chronwell 07.02.09 @

I copped that Chamber Music, shit was hot but 1/2 the songs are instrumental/RZA babble…kinda disappointing for 1/2 the album but the SONGS are dope

Comment by dockevoc 07.02.09 @

“Fifteen years later, and Kurious is all grown-up, mature and sensible”…Have you seen that “Sitting in my car video”?

Comment by keatso 07.02.09 @

How old is Mohandas, like 100? If he makes a comeback I’ll boycott hip-hop.

Comment by Dave 07.02.09 @

i have’nt had a chance to hear the Puba or the Jorge yet, but compared to most shit that gets dropped these days the others are pretty nice with the exception of about 5 tracks on U-God’s.

Comment by RowanB 07.02.09 @

Tash of the Alkaholiks just dropped an album which would be very relevant here too. Control Freek

Comment by ENIGMUE 07.02.09 @

I have heard some of the U-God and Grand Puba tracks on a few different SiriusXM mix-shows, including DJ Eclipse’s, and I thought they were good. Blaq Poet is a given. It’s too bad about Jorge since his first album is in my top 5 ever.

Comment by HipHopHistorian 07.02.09 @

I remember listening to-HipHop Lives full-length w/KRS & Marly Marl,…and I remember being disappointed.Not just because Marly’s beats were-so-so,..but because KRS was rapping about topics he already covered,with no new spins on them.I personally believe the majority of vets releasing new material are uninspired,because-NO vet has released an up to date project that “inspires”.
And personally I just want to hear THAT BOOMBAP in tracks again.

Comment by R.Jones 07.02.09 @

I actually agree with everything you reviewed here.
My biggest disappointment was that Kurious bullshit.
That shit is trash.

Comment by verge 07.02.09 @

yup you hit this one on the head gawd… the wu and the u and the pu… done oh yeah and bp

Comment by er4se 07.02.09 @

BabyGrande and Amalgam are hardly internet labels. I think its unjust to diss them. Both put out physical CDs into stores as well as digital albums. I noticed Kurious had 6 videos and the last one with the Slick Rick feel to it had looked pretty sharp. I also noticed they have a full page ad in XXL this issue. So i think its unfair to say i-net labels are releasing with a $50 budget. It looks like they spent money on a XXL ad, video production and advertising. Thats well over $10,000 even with homie hook up discount rates from industry friends. Do the math.
Its not like these rappers are coming out because its cheap for labels to do so (its the same price as always) the question is more so should these rappers still be rapping?

Comment by attenative 07.03.09 @

It was more of a various artists type thing but the “Recordkingz” Album was straight Rawness!

Comment by RowanB 07.03.09 @

“Tash of the Alkaholiks just dropped an album which would be very relevant here too”

After the last two Liks records, I chose to ignore it.

@attenative: Do you work for Babygrande by any chance?

Comment by Robbie 07.03.09 @

Babygrande records sucks, just like all of these albums except Poet!

Hey Babygrande, how many of those Diamond albums did ya sell? 4 ? maybe 2?
U God always sucked. That Kurious record is fucking atrocious. Puba needs to stop too. In fact, all of Brand Nubian can stop trying to rap. It’s Over. Let it go.
Wu Tang? Shit, they’re still trying to put out records? Raekwon’s album is taking longer than that fucking Guns N Roses album to come out.
Nobody buys this shit anymore! Why do they bother??? Get a job motherfuckers.

Comment by TheBeAllEndAll 07.03.09 @

Robbie – I’ve listen to U-God, Kurious and Blaq Poet’s albums and your reviews on all three are on point.

Kurious seems like he’s still striving for play on commercial radio. U-God’s album is way better than his first but some tracks made me think he was trying to bring hip-house back. Blaq Poet……DOPE!

FYI on Scotty Wotty… according to U-God (on Squeeze Radio 89.9 FM 6/19/09), Scotty is some old school cat that he and other members of the Wu looked up to and patterned their style after.

Comment by Danny 07.03.09 @

I completely disagree with some of the things TheBeAllEndAll said. I don’t think all of Brand Nubian need to quit, in fact all of Sadat X’s work continues to be top notch. Also, some people do still buy this stuff. I would think these artists have as good a shot of moving units as anyone else, now that album sales aren’t what they used to be.

Comment by HipHopHistorian 07.03.09 @

ZING!

Comment by upset the setup 07.04.09 @

Only thing worse than old mouf rap is these old handz broads trying to be sexy and 17.

“Bitch you is 50 yrs old and I can wear your labia like a ski hat! Stop frontin’ and give me some throat love!”

Comment by DP 07.04.09 @

I don’t know what’s funnier, the article or the comments.

Comment by a-one 07.05.09 @

“Get a job motherfuckers.”

Comment by average 07.06.09 @

Scotty Watts was one of the first dudes in Staten Island rhyming. He & Cappadona were two of the most influential dudes to the Wu before Sir Ibu & Poppa Wu.

One.

Comment by Dart_Adams 07.09.09 @

Very nice reviews gents, nice to hear there are others that share my opinions… I was thinking this recently with many other artists and it’s hard to imagine once hard up MCs from the streets who were genuinely talking about their surroundings, 20 years later all cosied up with a cup of cocoa next to wifey, dog at their feet, penning a rap about guns, drugs & bitches!

For some they should just put their past careers in a closed book in the loft…

Comment by Waxer 07.16.09 @



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