Review Summary: If only he kept his mouth shut, half the time
Who is Charles Hamilton? Is he a singer? Is a rapper? Is a star? In the words of the man himself, he is “a kid struggling from Harlem.” Many, who read this review, will have never heard of this kid. Being a 21 year old musician, he comes to us from New York, and looks to carve a niche for himself in the hip hop world. Known to his fans as ‘The Pink Ranger’ or “Sonic the Hamilton’ (in honour of his favourite cartoon) despite not having released a major-label debut, has already been surrounded in controversy. From bringing up a girl’s abortion live on TV, to crediting J Dilla (who was deceased at that time) as the producer on his album, this guy knows that publicity sells and has used the market to create the hype around him. A true new-age artist, he utilized the pages of MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Imeem and various internet resources to create a buzz for himself and following in the, albeit pointless, footsteps of Souljaboytellem and being picked up by Interscope records. But does that mean he is comparable to soulja boy? Hard to say considering he already said ‘fcuk you’ to the popstar.
But taking on this album, This Perfect Life EP, the album before the album, does he deliver. Does he hype us enough to care for his album and to give this kid the credit, he claims he deserves?
Since this is an EP, I will review track-by-track
1)Barbara Walters: The album opens with Barbara Walters, which immediately transports us into the mind of Mr. Hamilton. In the song, he talks about how the world can make a man depressed and can take him to the limit. Discussing his childhood and how he has tried to run away from his story but he has finally come forward to tell it, including child molestation and his homeless life, hence the title of the famous TV interviewer. 5/5
2)All Alone: This is where we see that Charles, not only can detail his struggle, but of others as well. Using a very synth-pop inspired beat; he discusses manic depression and suicide, particularly when it comes to teenagers and young kids who are struggling to find their identity. This feels very ‘sing-songy’ and shows another side of Hamilton’s abilities. 4/5
3)Reminder: Probably the weakest track on the EP. Very interesting lyrics here; he talks about random things that will happen to him after his death. He relays a sense of hopelessness. He takes the devil’s perspective and allows himself to think about his death and how evil has influence him to do certain things in life he regrets. 3/5
4)Tears of Fire: This track differs of the rest of the life, as it turns into a more positive and upbeat idea. Deciding that its time leave behind the problems that have plagued him, he will rise above the rest. Crooked I, features a very strong verse, explaining that though his birth was a curse to his parents, he will do better than what has been set for him to do. 4/5
5)Rosado: The final track on the album. Not only is this the best track on the EP, it may be one of the best of young Charles’ life. The point of the song is to celebrate the colour pink, which being the color of the uterus, is indeed the colour of life. Sounds weird, I know, but even such as thing is made into a mellowed and chilled topic that you understand and at the end of the track will agree with, thanks to a few words from poet Aja Monet. Using a sample of Kiss of life by Sade, Charles Hamilton makes you understand his mood through “life is a bright shade to extenuate a nice day, positivity is the only right way, like haze on an I need to get high day, or like days driving by on the highway” 5/5
This album plays out like a short story, where the aim is for Charles to layout the ‘guide to living a good life’ and where he explains how there are certain struggles in the world and they need to be dealt and overcome. This young kid is on the right path, delivering a recipe that just might satisfy the hungry fans of “True Hip-Hop” yearning for the taste of something fresh. Charles Hamilton, just keep your mouth shut, open it in the studio and we will come to love you.