March is a pretty stacked month when it comes to hip-hop releases I’m looking forward to hearing. I’m hyped for seven releases this month – Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers, Pac Div’s Mania!, Curren$y’s Muscle Car Chronicles, Raekwon’s Shaolin vs Wu-Tang, Travis Barker’s Give the Drummer Some (which isn’t exactly hip-hop but most of the guests are rappers so I’m counting it), CunninLynguists’ Oneirology, and Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers. I’m planning on reviewing all seven of these albums. The third is Travis Barker’s Give the Drummer Some.
Let me get this out of the way before anything else – when it comes to Give the Drummer Some, it really makes no difference if you are a blink-182 fan or not. I’ve seen people who love blink-182 really dislike this album and at the same time I’ve seen people who don’t care for blink-182 say they really liked this album. To give you an idea where I’m coming from, I think blink-182’s alright but I’m not a huge fan or anything.
Give the Drummer Some is not a pop punk album at all. For all intents and purposes this is a hip-hop album that has a big rock influence. Since Travis Barker himself doesn’t rap or sing and since an instrumental album probably wouldn’t be all that interesting to most, these tracks all have guest appearances. The guests on this album are mostly rappers but after that they’re about as random as you can get — guests range from Kid Cudi to Tech N9ne to Lupe Fiasco.
Since every track has different featured artists on them, this album is a bit hit-or-miss for me. My favorite tracks are the ones where the rappers on the track are aggressive and complement Travis Barker’s style well. One track in particular that really stands out is “Carry It” where Raekwon and RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan team up with Tom Morello (Morello just sticks to guitar). RZA’s aggressive delivery throughout most of the track really fits with Barker. Another track I enjoyed was “Can a Drummer Get Some” which features (The) Game, Rick Ross, Swizz Beatz, and Lil’ Wayne – Wayne could’ve derailed this song but he delivered one of his better verses in recent memory.
On the flip side of that are the guys who aren’t known for being in your face. I really like The Cool Kids but their laid-back delivery doesn’t really work on “Jump Down“. Snoop Dogg’s verse on “Knockin” really didn’t interest me. One laid-back rapper that I did like on this album was Kid Cudi on “Cool Head“. It’s a strange song and sounds like Travis Barker remixed a track that could be on one of Cudi’s Man on the Moon albums – the combo of Barker and Cudi is a disaster on paper but it worked surprisingly well for me.
Generally speaking the good on this album really outweighs the bad. It’s different compared to most of the stuff I’m used to and pretty enjoyable. After listening to four of the seven March releases I was looking forward to, this is surprisingly my favorite of them (I haven’t reviewed Pac Div’s Mania! yet but this is slightly better). That said, I’ll be shocked if it stays my favorite by the end of the month. I’m guessing that Curren$y will get an 8 or higher from me and it looks like CunninLynguists are about to drop an atomic bomb on the rest of hip-hop. Let’s not talk about Wiz Khalifa. Score: 7.75/10
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