"Our pasta this evening...
is squid ravioli in a lemon grass broth...
with goat cheese profiteroles, and I also have an arugula Caesar salad.
For entrees this evening, I have swordfish meatloaf with onion marmalade,
rare roasted partridge breast in raspberry coulis with a sorrel timbale."
Maître D' of Pastels to Patrick Bateman and Friends
American Psycho (B.Easton Ellis)
Easton Ellis guts yuppie culture every time Patrick Bateman forces himself into a ‘hot’ bistro and forces down filthy fusion cuisine purely for the sake of fashion. Mindless, ill-considered and superficial trend chasing doesn’t make him admirable; it makes him ridiculous.
‘Throw Ya Dubs Up: Dubstep LA Vol.2’ is swordfish meatloaf, it is goat cheese profiteroles; it is pork loin with lime jello. No-one can question the credentials or skills of the chefs cooking up the beats‘n’bars on this tape - whether they’ve made anything worth listening to is another issue entirely.
The success of ‘Dubstep LA: Embrace the Renaissance’ lay in artists like Chae Hawks and U-N-I tailoring their flows to the dubstep production while Plastician’s inclusion of instrumental interludes provided a solid counterpoint to some of the tape’s weaker collaborations. Sadly, the normally-excellent hosts of Vol:2, MistaJam (UK) and DJ Battlecat (USA), offer up a consistently ill-matched collection of big-name beats and big name artists. I’ll only deal with my standouts and lowpoints tonight but cop the mixtape here and check it yourselves; I’d love to hear your take on it.
Speaker Pop – Soopafly ft.16-Bit
Anything featuring 16-Bit’s monstrous Boston Cream is guaranteed at least a 6/10 purely on strength of production. The relentless, staccato, high-pitched flows of long-time Snoop collaborator Soopafly fit 16 Bit’s rolling, low-fi beat perfectly.
Platinum – Snoop ft. R.Kelly and Busta Rhymes x Lex Luger
This track is strictly a fraud since Lex Luger, who produced the monstrous ‘Hard In The Paint’ for Waka Flocka and ‘How We Do It’ for Slim Thug, creates a beat which owes more to hyphy than to dubstep – it reminds me of ‘Vans’ by The Pack. Regardless of the beat’s genes, it’s nails and Snoop does it justice. Having 44 year-old R.Kelly crooning like it’s 1999 is just the icing on the cake.
Off That – Mykestro ft.Redlight
I cannot believe that Mykestro’s bars were ever, ever written to fit this beat; the mismatch is total and embarrassing. If you fancy hearing Redlight’s psychedelic, woozy production done justice, check ‘What You Talkin’ About?’ by Ms Dynamite; it’ll restore your faith in music.
This feels like a massive step back from the generally-solid Volume 1; I simply don't see the point of selecting elite production like High Rankin's 'Digital Sex' only to ruin it with lazy lyrics delivered by rappers who don't understand or care about the art of dubstep/grime MCing.
The saddest thing about this mess is that Snoop Dogg is now a franchise every bit as lucrative as Pirates of the Caribbean or Transformers - there will definitely be a sequel because unquestioning fans and dick-riding reviewers will embrace anything bearing Snoop’s name. I await Volume 3 with curiosity and no little fear.