David Sinclair of The Times reviewed the Bubba Sparxxx headlining show at London’s Astoria over the weekend and blasted the rapper giving the show a one star rating. Sinclair reports Bubba only performed for a total of just 20 minutes causing a chorus of booing and a hail of missiles.
Nathaniel Friedman of the Philadelphia Inquirer was on hand at the Will Smith & Friends concert at the half-full Electric Factory and wasn’t too impressed with headlining act Ludacris. Friedman said, “Even in his performance – which lasted only as long as it took to rattle off his seven biggest hits – the energy and enthusiasm never coalesced. Anthems such as ‘Welcome to Atlanta’ and ‘Southern Hospitality’ lacked the sting of the studio versions.”
Zac Crain of the Dallas Observer reviewed the debut N.E.R.D. album, ‘In Search of N.E.R.D.’ and he joined the long list of those praising the effort. Crain said, “N.E.R.D. prove that mingling rap with rock wasn’t a bad idea; it just wasn’t done right. And now someone has.” Read more.
Matt Conaway of Vibe magazine reviewed the debut N.E.R.D. disc ‘In Search Of…’ giving it a 3 1/2 out of 5 rating calling it “unlike anything previously heard from the ubiquitous Virginia duo.” Conaway adds, “‘In Search Of…’ unfolds like an experimental jam session that got recorded by accident.”
David Lindquist of the Indianapolis Star reviewed the Ludacris concert Friday night at the Indiana Convention Center and claimed the charisma the rapper exudes on record was not exhibited in his live show. Lindquist said, “A technical matter has to rank as a primary fault. Because of excessive microphone volume, Ludacris’ dynamic flow came across as a frayed jumble. Meanwhile, he relied on the tired cliches of ‘Where my girls at?’ and ‘Who’s smoking?’ to kill time.”
Jim Farber was on hand at the Roots concert at Lincoln Center Thursday night, the first hip hop show to ever be held there and was impressed with the group’s performance. Farber gushed, “Even without such add-ons, the Roots would have riveted. Everyone knows that rap rarely translates well to the live stage. But these guys long ago figured out how to make it dazzle. Even those who think they don’t like the genre would have been bowled over. Hopefully, it won’t take another 20 years for a rap act to play this tony place. Or for the genre to produce a group quite so worthy of it.”
Matthew R. Weaver of the Daily Evergreen says Ludacris’ new album, ‘Word of Mouf’ “allows Ludacris to live up to his name.” Weaver said the rapper “keeps his rhymes humorous and his lyrics should be taken lightly.” As for content, Weaver adds, “With no shame, Ludacris grabs our attention with lyrics revolving around the same thing, down and dirty sex.”
Barry Walters of Vibe reviewed the new album offered by Bell Biv DeVoe, ‘BBD’, and came away less than impressed. Giving the album 1 star out of 5, Walters blasted, “BBD has not matured in the last nine years. Instead, age has turned their boyish hints of venom toxic.” Walters added, referencing to the groups legal turmoil with label Universal, “‘BBD’ sounds more like a contract fulfillment than musical inspiration.”
Maurice Bottomley of PopMatters reviewed the debut offering from Bubba Spraxxx, ‘Dark Days, Bright Nights’, giving it tepid marks. Bottomley also used the review to sound off on Bubba and Eminem getting “more media attention than 95% of black rappers.” As for Spraxxx, he said, “What he lacks is variety — rhythmically and lyrically. Listen to this set then go to Big Daddy Kane, Rakim or Q-Tip and remind yourself how banal rap technique has become. Bubba doesn’t, thank God, just yell angrily at you but he really only talks into the mike — barely even riding the rhythm never mind having any attack or finesse to his stylings. He has one good idea: down home boy = down home wisdom, but it is just one idea and can’t quite sustain an album.” Read more.
Matthias Jost of Rapreviews.com gave his review of Swollen Members latest disc, ‘Bad Dreams’ giving it a 7 of 10 score but giving a review that doesn’t give it near that much credit. Jost said, “This is basic hip-hop, sometimes a little bit too basic. Mad Child and Prevail spend the first 15 minutes of their album teaming up with people like Iriscience, Evidence and Chali 2na shadowboxing the same old imaginary MC opponent. They nearly knock themselves out doing it. I’ve rarely heard a rapper sound less motivated than Prevail in ‘Full Contact.'” Read more.