Really lagging behind on the ol’ listening thread, sorry guys.
Given the Jean Grae album a few spins now and am pretty into it. She’s a brilliant technical emcee. She is also by miles the best thing about it unfortunately, cos the beats are a bit uninspiring. Seemed that loads of east coast indie rap records around this time had the same problem, in that they seemed to be stuck in a mid 90s time warp, but the beats just come off as (very) pale imitations of Pete Rock or Premier. It’s a bit of a shame cos she deserved better. Listened to Jeanius off the back of this too and that hangs together better, but would have to say that 9th Wonder’s never been my favourite producer, and Jean Grae isn’t quite as good on this either.
Overall, really solid record, but if anybody could point me at a mixtape of 2004 era Jean Grae over some vintage east coast productions, I’d be all about it.
On the Count Bass D, know this one pretty well. It’s brilliant - reckon it’s one of the best rap albums of the 00s. Can’t remember how I heard of this originally. Was huge into MF Doom / MF Grimm / Monsta Island Czars at the same time and I think the Grimm connection was probably it. Think the way the beats are put together was definitely an influence on Doom’s production on Mmm… Food too. This is much less claustrophobic sounding though - some of the production almost sounds like it could come from a Native Tongues album. Count Bass is also great throughout the whole thing. Love his raps about his wife and kids in particular.
Another awesome choice for a listening thread, cos for some reason this went way under the radar at the time (the 10th anniversary reissue didn’t make that much noise either). Actually think if it was released two years later, when Doom was absolutely everywhere, this would’ve done damage. As it is, seems to be one of those ‘strictly for the headz’ albums, when its appeal is way way wider. Lost classic fo’ sure