Review Summary: You are what you eat, and that's a fact / That's why I never eat pussy and just stick with Big Macs
As a scholar of questionable repute, my passion for tireless research is dulled by a few caveats. It's a fundamental truth that my erections reach peak rigidity during the midwatch hours, tallow candles casting flickering amber reflections across my mahogany desk, odours of sandalwood emanating from bookshelves housing first editions of the collected works of John Locke, encyclopedias scattered across the floor necessitating something of a four-limbed crawl in order to cross-reference and fact check, an act made all the more awkward by the magnifying glass clutched in my sweaty palm and the encumbrance of a member so gratuitously swollen that I periodically have to revert to leeching the afflicted area for fear that it might burst otherwise.
Indeed, in being thus enlightened by scholarly thought, historical record, and empirical evidence, I have obtained intellectual powers that could turn a whole Masonic order an envious shade of Shrek-green. Yet, as a student of the College of Truth, I am required to pay heed to the counter-argument; that there is a beauty in being detached, following your instincts, making occasion to remove your head from your as
s to take a breath of untainted air. This, dear students, is a philosophy that many of you will have heard worded differently by Officer Kenny “Get out the booth, bruh” Beats: Don't Over Think Shi
Having attained such enlightenment four years into my university career, when I was about ¼ of the way to completing a very broad Bachelor of Arts, I had ascended to such a degree that I almost didn't think at all
. The benefits of this particular mindset are innumerable, even if it means a loss of contact with most of the people that you value in your life. Primarily, and to finally get to the point where I actually talk about music, it means that you can enjoy the living fu
ck out of an album such as The Conspiracy
by The Weathermen.
The Weathermen take their place in history as an offshoot of the insane roster of talent affiliated with Def[initive] Jux. As a matter of course, Jaime Meline's name pops up (although this isn't actually a Def Jux release), but the album is largely dominated by Cage, Camu Tao, Tame One, and Copywrite. Yak and Jakki jump in a few times, and Vast Aire even drags his stoned as
s into the booth for a track.
Those who are vaguely familiar with this particular hip-hop scene will no doubt find their interest piqued by those names, and that's just the shortlist. If that's the case and you haven't heard The Conspiracy
ck off from this godforsaken site and listen to it ASAP, because my tireless research on this album has churned up unequivocal evidence that it's nowhere near as good as I initially thought it was.
That being said, let's start with the positive. This album is fun as fu
ck. Copywrite sashays into the fold to deliver a highly entertaining opening verse on Made You Shit Your Pants
, beginning with the stunning couplet, “My next album's gonna come with lotion, home skillet / You can go fu
ck yourself if you don't feel it,” and ending his verse with a line tailor-made for my Sopranos fetish, “Get my prozac, I'm like Tony Soprano / The way I kill Big Pussy and my bitch don't know that.” Cage swoops in to provide the second verse for this track, making it clear that he's not happy with the state of 2003 hip-hop, nor the state that snatches blunts from contented gangbangers' mouths with one hand while dropping dead presidents into terrorist purses with the other.
This track tells you most of you need to know about the album that follows. Fun rhyme schemes, catchy hooks, wild humour, timeless one-liners, and violent stabs at the targets established by Cage's aforementioned verse run rampant through the whole release, while classic hip-hop motifs abound; sexual aggression, homophobia, misogyny, and smoking chronic by the tree notwithstanding. Thoughts and feelings surrounding that particular moral minefield can be navigated elsewhere, but unless you're of the Rosenbaum school of thought you can play this shi
t off as a historical quirk and enjoy the album as a project by a group of talented friends fu
cking around and having fun.
If it were that simple I'd drop a 4 on this sucker and move on, but allow me to do my pale pink graduation hood [an in]justice and reveal my own ignorance. It wasn't until I read the relevant literature that I discovered the presence of a whopping nine
freestyles over beats already utilised by other artists. We're not talking small fish here; we're talking about beats by Timbaland, Kanye, Dre et al. that have been so thoroughly spat over by the likes of Nas, Missy Elliott, Biggie et al. that the phrase 'sloppy seconds' doesn't quite do the situation justice. On top of that, the productions that come from in-house talent are often simply sourced from various solo releases by the crew, although often reworked to fit the context of the album and make space for features.
Irregardless [sic], this criticism downplays the conviction that beats at the heart of The Conspiracy
. The Weathermen's namesake provides easy fodder for the effective segues that tie the album together, along with opportunity for such hilarious wordplay as “My dick was a cloud and I gave her the claps,” from Jakki. There are some insanely good hooks on here (particularly on album highlight, Ten Times
), and a bevy of fantastic lines from all involved, leaving little doubt about Tame One's claim that he's “independent as fu
ck, mentally ready for top twenty.”
The quality does reach some astonishing highs across the hefty 53-minute run-time, but it also occasionally dips like Danny Brown at a backstage orgy. Toy
's hook is so fu
cking boring that it's redundant, a rape joke or three weren't all that funny even in 2003, and Vast Aire does that thing that he's liable to do where he momentarily becomes shi
t at rapping.
Considering the loosely arranged trajectory of The Weathermen's releases, none of this should come as a surprise. The project's demise would follow Camu Tao's tragic death, which would also catalyse profound changes in the group's personal lives (as the later solo releases from El-P and Aesop Rock will attest to). During its tenure, the collective was liable to morph and change on a whim, acting as more of a secondary outlet to those involved than a significant end in and of itself.
Therefore it's with a heavy heart that I drop this essay into the submissions box, sleep crusted around my eyes, flailing my hand to shake the papers loose from my sticky clutches after a gruelling 73 hours of handling exploding fountain pens, reused coffee grains, and a phallus red and raw from chronic procrastibation. It's a shame that my spiralling journey toward incontestable truth has revealed that The Conspiracy
is a cleverly disguised compilation rather than The Weathermen's standalone full-length swansong. However, if you turn off your critical faculties for 53 minutes, The Conspiracy
is an addictive showcase of talent that might just kick-start your journey into a groundbreaking hip-hop scene that will remain as relevant in years to come as the tens of thousands of dollars I owe the government for learning a bunch of shi
t that I could've just Googled.