19 December 2013

19th December - Styles P's Time is Money

Artist – Album: Styles P – Time is Money
Released: 19th December 2006
Sounds Like: Nothing new
Styles P might be the first artist I’ve covered during this whole project that I’ve never even heard of. Look at that, 353 days in and I’m still breaking new ground… First impressions are: he’s rubbish.

Let’s start with the positives. They are, for the most part, the first couple of tracks. ‘G-Joint’ and ‘Testify’ are both incredibly fresh recordings that almost slide into the realm of alternative hip hop, featuring brilliant new samples and appearances from J-Hood and Talib Kweli (him again!).

After that though, things descend into stereotypical rap clichés, with empty sounding beats and tired, well-worn messages. Half the rhymes seem to have torn straight from Rapping For Dummies. On ‘How We Live’, the chorus goes: “This is how we live, Smoking, drinking, hustling, thinking. This is how we live, Drug spots, projects, Jail cell stinking. This is how we live, Whole block run when they see cop lights blinking. This is how we live, Benjamins, grants, Washingtons Lincolns.” “Drug spots, projects, Jail cell stinking”?! I mean, come on. This was released in 2006 for Chrissake.

Honestly, the production is great, and some of the ideas within are pretty good. ‘I’m Black’ may be bogged down with stereotypes and limp rhymes but it has the sincerity and honesty (“I’m Black, even tho’ my skin is kinda light”) that brings it to the brink of being a emblematic anthem in the manner of its inspiration ‘I’m Black and Proud’. The potential is here, but the finished product sadly is not.

Albumaday... rating: 6/10

1.       G-Joint – 3:15
2.       Testify – 3:26
3.       How We Live – 3:53
4.       Real Shit – 3:32
5.       Who Want a Problem – 3:22
6.       Favorite Drug – 3:33
7.       Can You Believe It – 4:09
8.       Kick It Like That – 4:16
9.       I’m Black – 3:45
10.   Fire & Pain – 4:19
11.   Burn One Down – 3:25
12.   Leave a Message – 3:47
Listen to ‘Testify’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B_5d81aa0M

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