I'm feeling lazy. I can't really think of anything to say as an intro, so I'm gonna just jump right in. I can't really feel guilty, because the shit I'm wading through ain't exactly creative. The record I am dealing with, Roast's "40 Dayz & 40oz.'s," probably doesn't deserve an elaborate introduction, and since it does not really fall into any unusual category of hip-hop, I need not classify it as such. The best part of the album is the intro, which lasts exactly 1:19 and features an amusing interpretation of the "Sgt. Pepper" intro from the Beatles' 1967 classic. From there, it is a full 12-track downhill slide, where creativity and intelligence are flushed out completely.
The title track appears shortly after the intro, and the hook actually sounds kind of dope. Eminem similarities aside, Roast's singing is more enticing than any of the bars he excretes in between. The cut-and-paste beat is home to rhymes like this:
"I drank more forties, ran more ladies
I love women like VH1 loves the eighties
I got a couple babies living in Cancun
One from the beach, the other, the bathroom
Hoes say "goddamn!" when I'm in my Dodge Ram
I say "fuck you!" when they don't wanna screw
I'm known to moan and groan and gripe and fight
Always coming, asshole, so here's my ass wipe"
If you're looking for a verse that encapsulates everything wrong with rap, look no further. Any semblance of intelligence or flow is completely gone, and Roast manages to touch on practically every cliché that exists in this culture in its most base, inarticulate form. This is a functioning example of why so many people blindly hate hip-hop, not because it is especially offensive, but because it has no redeeming qualities. This is ordinary in every sense, except that the musical quality cannot even be qualified as average.
The production, mostly provided by the artist himself, is a bit more professional, but only in the most simplistic sense. Just as Roast struggles to craft utterly bland and edgeless rhymes, he provides some continuity by matching his words up with some dull, nondescript production. The drums are completely mediocre, and they are delivered without a change of pace throughout the record. There are a few loops that exist as more than hip-hop clichés, but the vast majority of the record's melodies are provided by the likes of lethargic horn loops and bass guitar intended to disguise the simplicity of the music.
Roast has clearly listened to far too much of the wrong kind of rap, because most of his rhymes examine his Friday nights in blurry detail. "Let's Begin" claims to "reshape the game and bring it back to the golden age" and that "it's been too damn long since I heard a good hip-hop song." This song is absolutely not the answer, because Roast exhibits the same terrible characteristics that are noticeable from the start. "Suzy" is an ode to a promiscuous girl from his youth, and only here does Roast (with Johnny Lawrence) actually display creativity. The subject matter is well-worn through history, but he is thankfully talking about something specific instead of blindly ranting about how dope he is. Finally, Roast manages not to sound misguided here, which is the first step towards gaining the listener's respect. "Many Nights" explores his extensive past making hip-hop, but this ultimately reflects even more poorly on the record as a whole. The one touching moment arrives with "The Way It Is," during which Roast gives thanks for his life, despite admitting to "never live a glamorous life." This sort of introspection is touching, though it unfortunately shines even more light on the vast failings of his brash attitude on the rest of "40 Dayz & 40oz.'s."
If it weren't for the requisite Charlie Murphy reference and a few other pop culture crumbs, one might mistake this record for any low quality demo that has been made in the modern era of hip-hop. There if no forward movement at all, just pure mediocrity at best from an artist that loves the sound of his own voice. There are a few beats, as well as a few bars, that belong on a more professional record, but the vast majority of the twelve tracks are completely uninspired. Roast claims that his father questions his motives for continuing to make music at 28, and before hearing the record, I would have defended him. He genuinely loves it, this much is apparent. This music is sadly meaningless, though, a collage of stagnant music in the general form of rap.
Music Vibes: 3 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 3 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 3 of 10
Originally posted: August 30, 2005