My relatives suck at giving gifts. Well, they suck at giving them to me, at least. I’ve received some really lousy stuff in my day for Christmas, Birthdays, etc. Now, I never really complain, because I don’t have a right to, and because I generally don’t care about what I get. However, one thing that really irks me is when my family members purchase music for me. With the exception of my immediate family (and a select few others), my kin have a very poor grasp on what type of music I like. This is mostly due in part to the fact that I generally go on genre listening binges. Recently, most of them have wised up and decide to give me gift cards to music stores or something of the like. Unfortunately, these policies didn’t come until after I had received what is perhaps the most insulting musically related gift I ever did see: Lil Rome’s self-titled debut album. I was a little taken aback at this. I mean, it’s no great secret to my family that I like pop music and hip-hop, but this? That’s a little rough even for me. Still, being an open-minded chap, I popped the album into my computer and synced the music to my mp3 player. I pressed play and became instantly aghast at what I heard.
Kids should not rap. It’s just not right. I don’t care if your father is Master P, Romeo. That doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to be a hip-hop superstar. To be quite honest, Romeo should have just focused on acting from the beginning, because his career as a musical artist (I hesitate to use to word “artist") is something of a joke. Romeo is essentially a kid who was brought up around hip-hop royalty, became involved with Universal/Nickelodeon , and just decided that he could rule the world. It’s an annoying trend; young child stars thinking that their acting careers or a pretty face earns them the right to be rock stars. It’s rather unfortunate, since Hilary Duff
is a much better actress than she is singer. Sure, she has a decent enough voice, but it’s almost as if she’s mocking the music industry by releasing a greatest hits record two albums into her career.
Oh, and about the great voice thing: Romeo does not have it. His little pipsqueak, prepubescent excuse for a rapping delivery is laughably pathetic. He has no control, no command, and hell: he doesn’t even do half of the singing. That’s right Lil Romeo
is an album that actually features more vocal work from guest artists than the person who actually released the disc. The sheer fact of the matter is that Romeo is a joke as an MC. Furthermore, nothing is helped by the absolutely horrid music that Romeo’s Mickey Mouse whisper overlays. Repetitive, boring, and just plain stupid, the samplings and beats on Lil Romeo
are of pull-your-hair-out-in-frustration caliber. How anyone could tolerate them is way beyond me.
Romeo’s wordplay also leaves much to be desired. Take “Little Star," the first full track on the album, for example. Here we have Romeo spouting such mastery of assonance and alliteration as:
I'm looking for a girl/Who can stroll me around/Hold me down/Puppy love, girl/How that sound?/You remind me of a wish/First kiss
Perhaps the following lines “My Girlies" will incite the Hispanic population to riot against Romeo:
They call me Romeo, soldier boy/Coma te llamo, ya heard/Throw ‘em up, lets do this/Throw ‘em up, throw ‘em up, throw ‘em up
He “raps" the above lyrics while being flanked by a gaggled of [much older] women going “Ooooohhh Romeo." I would’ve assumed that the only Romeo woman of that age would fall of would be the star-crossed lover of Shakespearian fame.
“Someone’s In Love" does something poetic justice. I’m not sure what that “something" is, but I know it’s nothing that I want to be associated with:
Fun Fun Fun kick the boomstick/Somebody's in love kick the boomstick/Romeo's got a lady his poppa's goin' crazy
I’m sure his poppa’s going crazy, as the lady his son just “got" with is old enough to be his mother.
MC Peepants of Aqua Teen Hunger Force- “…man I don’t advocate that. I rap about life on the street." Now, apply those words to Romeo as he sings this:
Little Soldiers need love/Little kisses and hugs/Come get wit these thugs/I'm tellin' you I'm livin' it up/We can walk through the park, hold hands to it stop
I’m going to stop now, as I hope I’ve made things quite clear to you. The rest of the album is basically just recycled pop hits, including a sample of the Jackson 5
’s “I Want You Back" (the only decent song on the album, merely because it preys on the Jackson’s legacy). I don’t know. There’s really nothing positive about this album. It’s not so much that Romeo lacks talent (which he does) as the album is just poorly polished. Everything is just messy, jumbled, and plain irritating. Romeo is the greatest example of why child stars shouldn’t be allowed to “conquer" all forms of pop culture, simply because they want to. How this album went gold is beyond the scope of this humble reviewer’s understanding. Romeo, a word of advice: don’t quit your day job as a crappy actor until your voice drops a few octaves, okay?