Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trying To Find Some Common Ground


"If she could take that constructively and let me work with her. I'd make her a beast...on some real shit."

James Wade cracks me up, yo. Yesterday our interviewer extroadinaire, Waldini, gave you a peek into the psyche of one of hip hop's rising stars. Today I let you know if the fuss is worth it, as I review "The Common Ground." And the answer is...

Could Do Without

OK, we're going to start off with bad news. There are no perfect albums, although any Led Zeppelin release is close, so there are going to be tracks that sink like a two week old brownie. "Tippin" is one of those tracks. The chorus is irritating ["Tip tipping I'm tipping. Tip tipping I'm tipping.] and the beat is generic. As Mark Jackson would say, "You're better than that." On "Midnight Train," James samples "Don't Stop Believing." While the song isn't horrible, all I could think of was onion rings and Member's Only jackets. Good hip hop shouldn't make you think of greasy food. I'm just saying.

Pretty Cool

Now that we got that little bit of business out of the way, we can delve into more positive aspects. The next group of songs are pleasant enough. "6 In The Morning" is a real cool track. Wade rides the beat perfectly, and gets my head nodding. The only flaw is the chorus, which falls into generic territory. Conversely, "Good Times" succeeds due to the hook. "Smile" has a nice piano intro that slowly draws you into the beat. Wade once again rides the track nicely.

Yeah Boy

Now we've come to the meat and potatoes portion of this meal. These are the tracks that I can ride out to with no hesitation at all. "Man In My City" is that quintessential "south shit" for lack of a better term. Put the top down, crank the volume to 12, and ride out to this one.

"Man In My City"


In some ways "Just A Little" is a breath of fresh air, even though it sounds like something Kanye would have done a couple years ago. I kind of miss the "sped up sample/soul groove." Because, you know it's soulful as opposed to robotic. "Hit Record" has that slow, easy, and soulful [get the picture] groove that makes your neck do that metronome thing.

"Hit Record"


More Awesome Than The Law Allows

"...and that's how you start a record." Yes sir, you are correct. The album starts off perfectly with Wade going off the dome a capella for a solid minute plus, all while rhyming everything in threes. "I Got Somethin' To Say" is that track. Beat? Dope. Flow? Dope. Groove? Dope. This is the song that makes me think that Wade has a definite future in this game.

"I Got Somethin' To Say"


I love "Weatherman" because the hook is infectious. Seriously, I had to take some Thera-Flu the first time I listened to it.

"Weatherman"


I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the hilarious interludes, "She Wack" and "Ain't Saying Much." The quote at the beginning of the review is from "She Wack." Wade then hits us with this on "Ain't Saying Much:" I'd fuck her. That ain't really saying much. I fuck a lot of hoes for no reason." Like I said, James Wade cracks me up.

So what do I think of "The Common Ground?" I like it. I like it a lot. There is some serious potential brewing up inside of J. Wade and I can't wait to see/hear his progression. One of the aspects of this record that I really respect is the amount of attention he gives to writing lyrics. You can tell that he actually puts some thought into what he raps about. That's a facet of the game that is sorely lacking at the moment. Also, I'd love for him to incorporate a few more "soulful" beats on his following albums. I think he's got something going there. So there you have it, "The Common Ground" gets The Commission Stamp Of Approval.

You can purchase the album here.

1) Intro
2) The Greatest (Iambic)
3) Tippin (featuring Dofat and J Sic)
4) Weatherman (featuring Ced Natti and TVs Devon Wade)
5) 6 In The Morning (featuring Eazy)
6) Smile
7) Good Times (featuring AG) (Background Vocals: Emily Cooper)
8) She Wack (Interlude)
9) Famous (featuring TVs Devon Wade and Dofat)
10) Got Somethin’ To Say
11) Man Of My City (featuring Kid Vicious, AP, and S-Dot)
12) Nothins Gonna Stop Me (featuring JUS DEEP)
13) Ain’t Sayin’ Much (Interlude)
14) Jus A Little (featuring Maxx Pain)
15) Midnight Train (Vocals by Michael Brooks)
16) Hit Record (featurin TVs Devon Wade) (Background Vocals: Keyaira Hill)
17) Next 2 Me (Vocals by Courtney Beasley)
18) On My Way (featuring Dofat)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ive heard of this guy - where can i get the album?

PIUS said...

check out drop.io/iamjameswade for the common ground and check out the university of dayton page on itunesU for wade's mixtape the awkward silence

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