Review Summary: I respect Kool A.D.'s decision to make this thing, but I wouldn't listen to this for fun. At least not sober.
What happens when a rap group stops rapping? New York trio Das Racist’s Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man mixtapes (the latter in particular) rank among the best hip-hop releases of the last few years due to their seamless blend of absurdist humor and first-rate rapping. Their debut full-length, Relax, was a solid hip-hop album but did not show off the group’s ridiculous mic skills. (They did, however, give a brilliant performance on eXquire’s posse cut “The Last Huzzah.”) And here’s The Palm Wine Drinkard, the debut mixtape by Kool A.D.--arguably the better of the two rappers in the group--and there’s barely any rapping on it. Nor is there any of the dry humor that makes the best Das Racist material blow away almost all other comedy rap ever made. This would be excusable, perhaps not even relevant to this review, if there was enough interesting material on this mixtape to justify it.
Maybe I’m just prejudiced. After all, Kool A.D. is my favorite member of Das Racist, and I was expecting at least one verse as good as the one on “The Last Huzzah,” or even “Michael Jackson.” Or maybe I’m not forgiving enough--after all, this is a mixtape, not an album. Or maybe I’m just sober right now.
I’ll just give you a summary of what’s on the mixtape so you can decide if you want this thing on your hard drive. There’s the title track, which is basically lounge jazz. There’s “Eight Elvises,” which is going straight on my “blazed” playlist. There’s a really good R&B slow jam called “Girls & Women.” There’s a really, um, okay R&B slow jam called “A Ganglion of Lightnings.” There’s a track called “Booty In The Air” that sounds an awful lot like Lil B’s “Hipster Girls,” rhymes “like an airplane” with “in the air, mang,” and is actually one of the mixtape’s most enjoyable tracks. There’s a silly dance-punk parody “Fun” that features snippets of Das Racist’s characteristic wit (“Drums! Other ***! Guitar!”). Then there’s “Lagrimas Blancas” and “Titties Out,” which feature no rapping and each use the phrase “pussy pop” about six thousand times. There’s a song called “Flying Thru The Air Inna Airplane” that consists of someone (presumably Kool A.D. with his voice pitch-shifted) describing various luxurious activities over a beat for 82 seconds. There’s “Antenna Man’s Theme,” which is mostly an unaccompanied saxophone solo that may or may not have been played by Kool A.D. And there’s “You Can Sell Anything,” which is a four-minute dance track that’s probably supposed to sound like Empire of the Sun but sounds more like a monkey walking on a synthesizer.
Personally, I’d rather just listen to Sit Down, Man.