Like his Leave It To Beaver namesake, rapper Eddie Haskill's got issues, which is evident from the CD cover. Imagine Nas's classic Illmatic cover, except the gritty project streets are replaced with a NY skyline and Nas's face is replaced with... a smiling kindergartener, his head tilting ever so, with car door ears and freshly pressed Osh Kosh. Haskillmatic? Flip the CD and you'll see naked Playboy Playmate Lisa Marie something (they have so many damn Lisa Maries it's hard to keep track), with her perfectly round derrière raised behind track listing number 5. HaskillSpankmaster? After listening to the CD three times straight I'm still not sure.
What is evident though is that this white guy from Buffalo 1) is used to battle rhyming (two tracks are dedicated to battling MCs Matias and Meztige the Radical) 2) has a decent flow with the right beat and 3) doesn't take himself too seriously. He gets Kool-Aid points on the last one alone, since it's nothing worse than a MC thinking he's the ONLY MC in this motherfucker. With lines like "I'm in the cut like Neosporin," "You're still gay like a cummerbund," and, my personal fave, "I'm a super toy and you're just a plain teddy" (from Spielberg's "A.I."), how can you not like this guy? Hil-LAR-rios.
He's not humble, but he's real. Peep "The Illest," which unironically (or is he laughing at US?) uses a flipped "The Real Slim Shady" beat. Regardless, Haskill shows he has skills:
"Cause I been writing for years
Yeah, I said it before, y'all are bitin' queers
Came late in the game, but kicking game to your dame
Your dame in the background sayin' my name
Thought you was abstinent but now you got a little hassle
A little accident caused by Eddie the asshole
I spit fire off the tip of my tongue like Tabasco
When I see more E than when your gas is low
The master flow, pass the smoke, grab the Castro
Cubans, going in and out quicker than Puerto Ricans movin'
And I'm not one to play on the race card
And I'm not one who likes to embrace God
But I am the one who tries to make your face nod
With friends that sniff coke like their face was scarred"
Some of the beats are pretty flat, but when they're tight, they're tight. Producer Kid Kutz's "Oh My God" has a quick piano loop and a heavy drop bass which would get any party live, while Destin's "Five Minutes to Fuck" changes Eddie's mediocre rhyme into a relaxed story with soft, yet sharp xylophone hits. He wisely avoids the skit route, but he does rely heavily on movie quotes (from Sean Connery to Denzel Washington), often adding just enough flavor to a cut.
With titles like "Sex Slaves," "Devil Trickery," and the goofy "Five Minutes to Fuck," not to mention the naked silicon babe on the back, it's easy to dismiss the whole CD as a joke. Luckily he reminds you that he's a real MC with real problems: "May," which at first listen may sound like it's about fucking, is actually about cherishing the woman he loves, while "Social Commentary" gives some insight into his own view from the MC hill. However, the zenith of the CD is simply called "Bonus Track." It's about... well, just read the lyrics:
"Yo Nas, stop actin' like you down with Big and 'Pac
'cuz to tell you the truth, I ain't heard nothing yaw did that dropped
During the East-West beef you didn't give them mad props
Just trying to be down with somethin' you not
It's kind of sad sharing those kind of thoughts on your album
Just recorded 'Got Ur Self A...' and sent that mail to them
But there's nowhere to send them, because you only sweat the dead ones
Hoping for redemption, they won't be your friends in heaven
You better stick to giving R.I.P.'s to Ill Will
And I hate to tell you this Nas but you ain't still ill"
Guess he woke up this morning and got himself a beef. All that said, this CD isn't the one that will put Haskill on the mainstream map, but it definitely doesn't suck... which a lot of MCs can't say. After all, when's the last time you listened to a CD three times and didn't feel compelled to pop it out?
Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10
Originally posted: April 25, 2002