Blakroc [Album Review]



It’s usually a disaster waiting to happen when we see these hybrid projects of rock mixed with hip-hop artists. Ever since “Rock This Way”, artists have been wanting to cross these two worlds together, and at times it works but more often than not it’s like Eddie Murphy collaborating with Rick James: Two people great at their fields, but when together, shit sucks.

Luckily for the Blakroc project, you have not only talented hip-hoppers like Mos Def (who can pretty much cater to any style of music anyways) but you also have the members of The Black Keys at the helm, who have Hip Hop sensibilities (especially since Danger Mouse produced their last album, Attack and Release.)

There are genuine moments when songs seem to mesh like “Ain’t Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)” featuring Jim Jones and Mos Def on the chorus. Usually a song bearing the name of Jim Jones, I would opt to skip, but the collaboration embodies what the entire project possesses: Rap artists who are at times cocky and full of themselves, are now humbled because they are in a territory that they may not know very well.

Songs like Mos Def’s “On The Vista” (making me feel like he should do an entire project with the Black Keys), “Dollaz & Sense” with Pharoahe Monch and Rza and “Hope You’re Happy” with Q-Tip, Billy Danze and Nicole Wray are really solid tracks. What’s even more interesting is seeing the artists work together on the innovative site where the webisodes show the recordings of the songs giving a greater appreciation for the vision of Dame Dash’s baby.

The project is predominately decent – and that’s not to downplay the impressive task of getting these artists together. As far as replay value, I’m not sure if it’ll be something I would rush to repeat for years to come. But maybe that wasn’t the point. The point may have been to show that these two worlds are not separate and that instead of just co-existing, they will have to work together. If that was the goal, then mission accomplished.

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