If you’re like me when you clicked on this review you were wondering, “What kind of name is Ghettosocks?” Apparently, it’s the name of a pretty good rapper. Ghettosocks (who will be referred to as Socks from here on) also produces or co-produces every song on “Get Some Friends” save one. With an album title that seemingly comes out of nowhere, Socks could easily be taken for a joke at first glance.
If you were inclined to take him as such, you’d be, at least partially, mistaken. There is an element of comedy to his style, to be sure, but when it comes to the art of rhyme, Socks is dead serious. He can flip internal rhymes, rhyme schemes, and multi-syllable rhymes with an ease that is nearly unparalleled. The inside of the album cover reads, “My poetical skills are incredible, like Magic Johnson’s medical bills,” and he’s not exaggerating at all.
On the other hand, listening to him will be a stretch for many rap fans. To put in bluntly (no pun intended), if Socks were on trial for marijuana use, “Get Some Friends” could be used as evidence. It’s possible that Socks doesn’t enhance his raps in any way, but that is the most obvious conclusion for this listener. Socks’ raps constantly connect subjects of little to no relation, and can lose the sober listener from time to time. Also, his topics range from rarely heard to downright weird. Socks wastes no time in confusing us all with “Lapping the Sun”:
“I come from a planet where the dominant inhabitants panic
And plant pieces of metal in the inanimate
DNA strands are sliced in crowded cabinets
Part primate blood, God, rock banana clips
Televisions; learn to read and spell it with them
Mental prison expelling wisdom while I excel on rhythms
I ain’t trying to save the day-
I’m playing keep away with your brain in a field of razor blades”
For all of his eccentricities, the sound of “Get Some Friends” is very mundane, and sometimes even boring. Socks raps with little change in pace, and no change at all in emotive pitch, and his voice can quickly make a listener zone out. His production is also very laid back, and somewhat indebted to Madlib’s odd sonic combinations, but not nearly as good. Honestly, the whole album is probably not best experienced sober. The content and feel is reminiscent of what a Wu-Tang album, without having the grit or soul that made the Wu so effective.
Nonetheless, none of the songs are particularly weak in anyway. Taken in and of themselves, they’re pretty strong, and won’t wear on you like the album does as a whole. “Step to a T-Rex” provides a much needed up-tempo change of pace, while “Count Sockula Esquire” and “Steal From Wal-Mart,” with its boasts of stealing “a Shrek display,” are utterly hilarious. He encourages to “Read-a-Book,” and plays God on “I Invented Everything.” And when he gets down to bragging about his skills, he’s “Naturally Nice”:
“We been friends along time, but I’m sorry, I have to kill you
These rhymes evolve minds like Pine Sol dissolves mildew
Allow me to extrapolate, I’ll fuel a rapper’s fate
From a ceiling fan with cellophane and some packing tape
Ever since 7th grade, I had to gravitate
And when I heard Kane, I said, “Damn, that rapper’s great!”
“Get Some Friends,” with some extremely repetitive production and monotonous vocals, isn’t a very good straight through listen, most of the time. Honestly, it’s meant to be enjoyed with recreational drugs. If you’re not that person, you might still enjoy Ghettosocks’ effortless bending of rhymes, but it isn’t an essential pick up. But if you are, “Get Some Friends,” get blazed, and put this in your CD player. You won’t be disappointed.