STD Issue 41

The STD crew has been out of the office for a while. We’ve been pushing the political pavement for a few months and gathered some interesting data.

1. Barack Obama tivo’s Flavor of Love.
2. CNN host Anderson Cooper previously tried out for Project Runway and never made the show. We hear he makes a “fierce” sundress, though.
3. John McCain is actually 108 years old.
4. Don’t let Hilary fool you; she’s been sippin’ syrup (grape flavor) since she met Bill years ago. Sources say Lil Wayne is her dealer.
5. Democratic strategist Donna Brazile uses “Dr. Miracle” to get her perm just right.

So, after countless beer tours with the Clintons, sticking “Baby On Board” bumper stickers on Ron Paul’s tour bus and trying to get Rev. Jeremiah Wright a talk show on BET, we decided to call it quits and give this reviewing thing a shot, again. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Well, that is, unless you never pay your taxes. Free Wesley Snipes!

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The Roots
Rising Down

RATING:

Have you ever noticed how spherical ?uestlove’s afro is? C’mon, we all have. Fortunately, this time around The Roots’ eighth studio album – Rising Down – holds your attention long enough not to give you fro nightmares. With assistance from Saigon, Common and Talib Kweli, the Illadelph crew offers an equally-adept balance between experimental hip hop funk and upbeat go-go music. The Roots new musical route proves that commanding percussion and creativity go a long way, even though I’m secretly routing for Soulja Boy. Either way, I hope Rising Down does well so ?uestlove can finally afford a haircut.

– Jason Parham

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Madonna
Hard Candy

RATING:

Before it became the norm, Madonna was the standard bearer in terms of pop culture whoredom. Over the years, though, age and the Kabbalah have made her lose her oomph. But, thanks to Timberland, Timberlake, and Pharrell, pop music’s biggest culture vulture has managed yet again to appropriate “urban” music and use it as a means to regain relevance. If you can get pass her sounding like Ursula the Sea Witch on much of the album, you’ll realize that while she can no longer channel Marilyn Monroe, she just might make it as the new Blanche Devereaux.

– Michael Arceneaux

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Estelle
Shine

RATING:

It must be hard to really a make a name for yourself as an artist when the American media is more obsessed with your awful teeth and your even more awful sense of style. But, British R&B singer Estelle is a fighter, and despite the too-happy for stateside lead single, “American Boy,” she proves herself to be one tough girl on the rest of her album. Still, if she wants to make it in this country, she might want to holler at a dentist and a stylist. People depicted as tacky yuck mouths don’t sell in America.

– Michael Arceneaux

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R.E.M.
Accelerate

RATING:

R.E.M.’s trying this whole “rock ’n’ roll” thing on for size. It makes me wonder:

– Has a power trio ever had a bisexual, bald lead singer?
– If this mainstream rock incarnation of R.E.M. sounds like mid-’90s Pearl Jam, does moody, jangly Pearl Jam sound like “Losing My Religion”?
– How does producer Jacknife Lee keep getting work? And when he does, are his checks made out to “Jacknife Lee”? What bank would let him open an account under that name? Do people call him “Jacknife” in business discussions?

R.E.M. spent less time on this record than they have in 20 years. Jacknife wastes no time in compressing the shit out of average songs to make them more palatable.

– Kevin Doran

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Portishead
Three

RATING:

Portishead has made a career on making spy music for pale-skinned English people and American anglophiles who aren’t nearly debonair enough to be spies. It’s like how AC/DC’s “I like drinking and fucking” music attracted a bunch of fat chicks. Portishead’s creatively titled third studio album, Third, is still living on that career. Pasty skinny hipsters, put on your shades and rev that Aston Martin. Then go home and pretend your girlfriend is Pussy Galore. This is as good as it gets.

– Kevin Doran

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Time Machine
Life is Expensive

RATING:

Nowadays rappers take rap way too damn serious. Like who wants to listen to rappers rap about rap and rap things? Sometimes you just want something you can sit back and blow a dub to. Am I right or am I right? That’s why I’m totally digging East Coast-bred and LA-based group Time Machine’s latest effort, Life is Expensive. It’s the ill combination of dope beats, care-free party raps you can shake something to (“The Groove That Just Won’t Stop”) and contemplative tracks that make you ponder your existence (“Survival Kit”). It takes you from getting head after a cup of OJ to chasing ones dream being the only way to truly live. Life is Expensive is the perfect OST to a chiefed-out Cali summer that could lead you in any direction.

– John Burnett

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Small Eyez & Soul Stirrer
2Morrow

RATING:

Forget about live n***a rap. The 21st century is all about everyday Joe Hip Hop; you know raps us regular folk can relate to. If I wanted to see how much money I didn’t have I’d go kick it in the financial district. I ain’t trying to hear that shit when I’m listening to my music. Rapper/blogger hybrid Small Eyez and producer, Soul Stirrer, gives you something to live to on 2Morrow. It’s a mélange of inspirational, soulful and thoughtful ditties that’s presented from a perspective that’s more shoulder-to-shoulder with the fan then looking down from above. Small Eyez shows his ass (pause) on the mic, lyrically, while Soul Stirrer’s beats do just what his name claims to. All in all I’d say, 2Morrow is that feel good hip-hop—from the heart—for those of us who don’t want to listen to rap and feel like “damn why ain’t I balling” like (insert flashy rapper’s name here).

– John Burnett

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2 comments

  1. Small Eyez got all the support he needs from iR, but for real, I’m pretty sure even he would put Rising Down over his record.

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