Review Summary: While the production is epic and is the star of the show, the run-of-the-mill rapping and utterly bland lyrics serve as the would-be sabotage. If only J Dilla could have collaborated with more able lyricists, this would be a default 4/5
Catalyzed by the superb production of J. Dilla, Fantastic, Vol. 2
isn't your typical 2000's midwest hip-hop album. Oh no. This doesn't exemplify the socially conscious, masterful lyricism prevalent in the heartland hip-hop scene. Uh-uh, not at all
. Since their induction into the rap scene in '97, Slum Village has been renowned for its mediocre rapping and basic lyrics. But, the production is so stunning it not only saves this album from being poor, it makes it great.
being his definitive, most notorious work, J Dilla's production effort on Fantastic, Vol. 2
helps to merit the claims that he was the greatest producer ever to exist. With his wide array of subtle electronics, smooth incorporation of 70's soul samples, and plodding drums, Jay Dee succeeds in melding spacey atmospherics and thumping noise together. Exemplifying the loud side of Dilla, "Raise It Up" showcases mellow percussion, some ascending keyboard synths and rising, grinding cranks that make for a beat that shifts from melodic to banging, and "Get Dis Money" features sexy, reverberating synths, electronic buzzes, and rhythmic clapping that create a low key, but plodding track. However, J. Dilla's soundboard wizardry isn't capitalized upon to the fullest possible extent. T3's sly nasal and Baatin's high, partially whiny delivery aren't really the problem. They flow just decently, and although Jay Dee should stick to commandeering the boards, they aren't terrible. It's really the lyrics that are a major problem. With their playboy bravado and illustrious boasts about their exorbitent sums of currency, one shouldn't expect Slum Village to defer on regular rap subjects. But the way they do it is the problem. The story-telling is inadequate, the imagery is vague, the syntax is bland, and the punchlines are absent.
While the production is epic and is the star of the show, the run-of-the-mill rapping and utterly bland lyrics serve as the sabotage. If only J Dilla could have collaborated with more able lyricists, this would be a default 4/5. But alas, he sunk down a few levels. Maybe if somebody would remix this it'd be awesome, but we all know how I feel about J Dilla rehashings.