so far I like it even better than the 1st one
― J0hn D., Tuesday, 15 July 2008 14:55 (4 years ago) Permalink
i need to get this
the first one is one of my favorite albums from the past couple years
― deej, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 14:59 (4 years ago) Permalink
even though 90% of the reviews i read seemed to be reviewing 'thats life' rather than the album itself ;_;
― deej, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:00 (4 years ago) Permalink
deej you're gonna love this I'd guess, my only complaint is that he leans on the same cadence too hard a couple of times early in the sequence and I go "didn't I just hear this one?" but have you heard "Pressure"? I know it's corny to get excited about Ice Cube in Death Cert mode but his verse is real intense
― J0hn D., Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:04 (4 years ago) Permalink
"pressure" vid is here anyway: http://smokingsection.uproxx.com/TSS/?p=5328
― J0hn D., Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:05 (4 years ago) Permalink
if I finish my to-do list today I'll do a track-by-track on this, I know everybody is very excited for that
― J0hn D., Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:21 (4 years ago) Permalink
yeah man, pit it on the rap album liveblog thread so that i'm not the only loser usin' it
― some dude, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:26 (4 years ago) Permalink
― some dude, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:27 (4 years ago) Permalink
im waiting to liveblog lax
― J0rdan S., Tuesday, 15 July 2008 15:39 (4 years ago) Permalink
here is my tl;dr track-by-track
Intro: While there's no real point in reviewing intros I'm gonna waste a huge graf and say that Killer Mike is talking about something that's important to me personally/professionally so I was kinda reeled in by what's usually a throwaway track & might be to others for all I know - he talks about his relationship to his audience: "We don't have fans, we only have supporters...and I say we have supporters because it takes a lot to dig in your pocket or dig in your purse and break bread with fifteen or twenty dollars. I believe when you buy a record you should leave that record with something more than a bullshit experience" - well, I'm small-time compared to Killer Mike, but I make my living in the same industry and I feel the same way about people who buy my shit and give me the life I get to lead - I owe them and I am not shit without them and when I work I bust ass for them. So while most rap album intros bore the shit out of me ("Oh boy, your album's gonna be great? thanks for the heads-up") I got something out of this one. Yes I am corny.
Track starts off kind of unremarkable but the music drops out at the first chorus and when it comes back it seems to have doubled its power (in other words, track builds nicely). Rhymes "syllables" with "residuals," causing JD much glee. Not a big standout but better than it sounds like it's gonna be at first. 3.5
Can You Hear Me:
Samples Mike & the Mechanics, overlays autotune hook. 2nd track in a row that comes out so-so and then after the chorus comes back on blast: "OK, yeah, like most black males/I done made my fair share of crack sales/How could you not wanna see me prevail?/How could you wanna see me locked in jail?/...How could you take all our honor and jobs?/and not expect us to steal and to rob?" 4
This is good track but is badly placed because the cadence comes back very very similar to the last verses of "Can You Hear Me." Big burbly Hammond sound under a track calling out fakers who try to neighborhoods they're not from. Hilarious great casio drum breakdowns throughout. Would quote some of these great lyrics but I don't know half of the ATL neighborhoods/streets KM is ref'ing and I put that on Adamsville. 4
Pressure f/Ice Cube
V. diff. production, sounds like it was made for Cube's comfort. Fucking awesome pissed-off political track. "Liberation costs more than a damn dollar/It costs what Christ gave, King gave, X gave/A billion dollars don't make you an ex-slave/Nigga with an attitude since 5th grade/I'll never behave/I'd rather be a dead man than a live slave." And: "And politicians sayin' 'save the planet'/fuck that, save us, damn it/from the black pigs helping kill Sean Bell/I hope it's five degrees hotter for your ass in Hell." Plus, the most raging Cube verse in ages. 5
Big Money, Big Cars
I gotta be honest that I wish I could never hear "life is a bitch so I made her my wife" again and it's right in the first four lines here but aside this is another mid-tempo booming-bass windows-open popping soft-808 summer jam with guest verses by I don't know but I like 'em both. It's just a see-how-I-ride jam but guess what I kinda like a good see-how-I-ride jam. Stutter-screw sample chorus kinda Cash Money sound. 4
God In the Building
Choral gospel cold opening check, tinny 808 patch check, Killer Mike dropping bombs from the opening bell check, corny white dude responding overenthusiastically to abundant religious tropes and references check, I am who I am. This track is fucking rad. Rhymes "Young Achilles" with "I will kill these." Anybody who knows me knows I was gonna be helpless in front of something like that. 5
Super Clean/Super Hard
The beat & groove get mellower but the album has settled into full ass-kicking mode. Bass drum/rims/handclap beat with sparse easy-funk guitar over it, absolutely 100% great summer track. Another posse track, I'm not up on anybody and don't know who they are but they all hold their own. Just a wonderful vibe. 5
Woke Up This Mornin'
Slow-summer-jam style. Subject matter: smoking out and fucking. Maybe a little too similar to "Super Clean/Super Hard" in vibe/style but who gives a shit, the flow is great. A little dull maybe. 3.5
Fucking yeah. I recognize the opening sample but can't place it. Total vibe change-up, squirrely techno synth pattern in the verses over a really deep stripped-down beat, more handclaps, so many goddamn great lines in a row it's ridiculous. Great woman's-voice-layered-so-it-sounds-like-a-group-of-women hook for the chorus. This track slays. 5
More boulevard-jam stuff like "Big Money, Big Cars," not quite as good. More really cool synth stuff going on though and a very 80s-pop feel to the sung hook. I can actually see this one growing on me some more just because of all the stuff going on but the overall effect doesn't really land on me. 3
If I Can't Eat Right
God damn what a great song. Another posse track, again I don't know who the crew are (got album from eMusic) but they're good, especially the woman. Verses are great, beat's great, single horror-movie horn-patch interval's effective, 8va synth floating around under Killer Mike lecturing on the importance of making money, which I don't mean reductively. I don't mean "I'm rich" stuff, I mean "it feels so fucking good to feed the family and take care of people and to eat good that I'm willing to put making money ahead of everything else" This is more corny JD shit but I was poor for years and now I'm not and the exact sentiment that KM articulates in this track's closing rant (does anybody do the outro rant better than Killer Mike? besides Pac I guess), about self-worth and the desire to take care of one's family, resonates with me. 5
Samples Joe Tex so instant win. Similar in texture to "If I Can't Eat Right" but deeper, makes more religious/street connections, has this: "I'm wakin' up like a grown-ass man/clutchin' my nuts, the world ain't holdin' my hand/starin' out the window with a rifle in my hand/get my Malcolm X on, lookin' at this van/is it the hip-hop police or the robbers, man?/I don't know, but I'm just sayin: I will foil they plan" and goes on & on & on like that, is fucking perfect. 5
I'm the Shit!!!
Slow muted menacing music under a song about how Killer Mike could totally fuck up some dude. It also at one point references Vanity 6. Distorted electric guitar is the dominant sound for the only time on the album. Really awesome suspense-build in the chorus, chiming "oriental" plucked sound under everything in the 2nd verse, just a really great evocative sound here. "Buy your daughter a quart of water and now she like me" is a really dirty and awesome way of threatening a guy. 5
Can You Buy That
More horns and cut-up samples for the hook but the percussion sounds are really different and the Shaft feel is just ramped way the fuck up, so goddamn rad. The bass here is the kind of thing that used to drive west coast guys completely insane, that low low twist-up low again pattern. Everybody on this track sounds like he's having a blast. 5
You See It
Great spoken intro about how people who hate on you or doubt you are people to whom you should be grateful because they give you something to overcome. Not many people sound convincing delivering this kind of line but Killer Mike does. Much higher tone on the chorus here - some of that mid-range weirdness that's absent from most of the album. Synthetic-feeling brass sound, real-feeling Hammond sound, good feel. More posse verses. Then a very complex and great verse from Killer Mike about how you hate the motherfuckers who try to keep you down and that's real but they're the ones from whom you have to draw strength. If you cannot feel Killer Mike on this then just remember this track when, someday, you will.
Good-bye (City of Dope)
Lurching beat very different from all the other stuff, me-and-my-woman-allied-in-crime plot that's pretty great. Maybe not the great album-ender I was hoping for but good. 4
― J0hn D., Tuesday, 15 July 2008 20:01 (4 years ago) Permalink
― myndbloom, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 21:04 (4 years ago) Permalink
okay I am getting this album - haven't paid attention since Monster but I still pull that out plenty
― Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 21:19 (4 years ago) Permalink
Messy Marv! nice
― Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 21:25 (4 years ago) Permalink
he says "no homo" on grandma's house
― n/a, Thursday, 17 July 2008 15:14 (4 years ago) Permalink
I only got up through Good Morning last night - some good stuff on here (Cube's verse on "Pressure" is great, etc.) but I dunno in general I think I just have a problem with the production aesthetic of hip-hop these days, I just don't like the sound of it, it doesn't engage me. a bunch of hyperactive drum machine beats, shitty synth patches, no real hooks, etc. and yes I know this vast generalization is neither fair or entirely accurate, but my lack of interest in how the music is actually constructed seems to make getting through recent hip-hop albums a chore for me. that being said KMs a great rapper and when he's got above-average beat-making behind him ("A.D.I.D.A.S", some of the stuff on this one) I really dig it.
― Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 17 July 2008 15:23 (4 years ago) Permalink
Good Morning Woke Up This Morning
― Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 17 July 2008 15:25 (4 years ago) Permalink
his crew are actually pretty good.
― titchyschneiderMk2, Thursday, 17 July 2008 15:26 (4 years ago) Permalink
This is really nice. Feels more unified and polished than Vol. 1. Is that because this is being sold as a retail album actually in stores? Or did I just never see vol. 1 in stores? Just curious.
― paulhw, Thursday, 17 July 2008 22:04 (4 years ago) Permalink
i like this but its less fun to me than the first one for some reason :(
vol 1 was so much better than his debut, this is very much a 'vol. 2' though
i guess the beats sound better
― deej, Friday, 18 July 2008 02:12 (4 years ago) Permalink
I'm still curious to hear this. I actually found volume 1 by accident at B3st Buy.
― jon /via/ chi 2.0, Friday, 18 July 2008 03:59 (4 years ago) Permalink
'woke up this mornin' is great
― deej, Friday, 18 July 2008 11:39 (4 years ago) Permalink
'grandma's house' too
― deej, Friday, 18 July 2008 12:02 (4 years ago) Permalink
mikes one of my favourite rappers but some of the hooks on this are too shitty.
the first volume was better.
― titchyschneiderMk2, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 20:35 (4 years ago) Permalink
― jigglepanda.gif (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 14 October 2008 20:37 (4 years ago) Permalink
Monster was best.
I only kept "Pressure" and "Woke Up This Morning" off this. Production style is jsut too annoying. Still pull out Monster occasionally though.
― Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 20:38 (4 years ago) Permalink
he needs more beats like snappin and trappin.
― titchyschneiderMk2, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 20:47 (4 years ago) Permalink
fuck this album gets better every time i swear
― max skim (k3vin k.), Tuesday, 31 August 2010 04:43 (2 years ago) Permalink
new album is good.
― titchy (titchyschneiderMk2), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 18:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
how are you hearing it?
― k3vin k., Wednesday, 6 April 2011 21:42 (2 years ago) Permalink
apparently PL3DGE got pushed back to may 17? ugh son
― k3vin k., Monday, 11 April 2011 03:36 (2 years ago) Permalink
so glad killer mike still exists to remind us all what major label rap done right sounds like.
― you sleazy prostitute (jk), Monday, 16 May 2011 18:27 (2 years ago) Permalink
'grandmas house' ended up being my fav off this one
― D-40, Monday, 16 May 2011 18:31 (2 years ago) Permalink
havent listened to the new record yet but the early leaks were :-/ imo
yeah i was pleasantly surprised bc the three that leaked (burn, animal and go out on the town) are pretty average compared to the rest
― you sleazy prostitute (jk), Monday, 16 May 2011 18:41 (2 years ago) Permalink
^^good to hear, i was meh on "burn" too
― its realy sad he was a drowner (k3vin k.), Monday, 16 May 2011 20:21 (2 years ago) Permalink
"go out on the town" bangs
― its realy sad he was a drowner (k3vin k.), Monday, 16 May 2011 23:23 (2 years ago) Permalink
love Pledge 2 and 3, and Mike said pledge 1 is getting a re-release!
― Neanderthal, Sunday, 15 January 2012 17:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
pledge 1 is so good & classic
― johnny crunch, Friday, 21 September 2012 14:36 (8 months ago) Permalink