There's not much to go from when it comes to Metaform's press kit. You get a picture of a guy who has no sense of style. Then you get claims that he's been compared to DJ Shadow, Pete Rock, and RJD2. From my latest experience with both RJD2 and DJ Shadow I wouldn't run around comparing myself to either producer. RJD2's last album, "The Third Hand," was probably the worst album I've heard all year – and I've heard plenty a bad album. DJ Shadow's "The Oustider" was by no means bad, but it was just a decent compilation with Shadow himself playing a background role. The only producer out of the three I'd strive to be would be Pete Rock. The other problem is that those three producers have nothing in common stylistically, so we're left with nothing to go on. The only bits of information that give us some hope for Metaform is the fact that he's from the Fillmore area in San Francisco and that his EP clocks in at only 24 minutes. I've had good experiences with rappers who represent Fillmore, and even if Metaform is completely wack I'll only have to endure him for 24 minutes.
The first track, "Get At Me," is a mixed bag and does nothing to clear up who Metaform is. The pounding beat chops a sample nicely and has plenty of energy, but Metaform's lyrics are wack with lines like "get low, get dough – an empty fo-fo, point it at the po-po." Metaform is attempting to make a parody of popular rap music, but personally I prefer to hear what makes an artist's music good rather than hear them complain about someone else's music. "Filly Mo" is more of the same as the funky beat would be perfect if someone like Messy Marv or Andre Nickatina spit over it, but Metaform is ill-equipped to make a Fillmoe anthem. "Be That Dude" suffers from the same wack lyrics, though the folk-rock sounding beat wouldn't be bad as someone's album filler. At this point it is painfully obvious that Metaform is a wack rapper. His style and flow is generic and at times he sounds like he's just yelling loudly. His lyrics are weak and structured so simply to the point they sound straight from the eighties. Metaform shows much more promise as a producer. Tracks like "I Can't Love You" are saved from their ill thought out subject matter (Metaform makes a track about an encounter with a transvestite hooker) thanks to an enjoyable beat. Not all the beats are gold, but several are good enough to reflect that Metaform has talent.
In the end Metaform is neither DJ Shadow, RJD2, or Pete Rock, but does have things in common with them. For one, like most producers Metaform would be better off if he left the rapping/vocals to other people. Much like RJD2, Metaform can also lack consistency, as some of his beats are good but others sound a bit generic. And finally, like DJ Shadow's last album, Metaform's self-titled EP lacks uniformity as he switches styles up too often to get a true feel of what he's about. Even with all the deficiencies, Metaform is a pretty good producer. Of course, with the wack subject matter and rhymes it is unlikely anyone would want to listen to his EP just to listen to some decent beats. I suggest Metaform enlists some talented rappers next time he decides to release an album so it will provide music that is completely enjoyable. If that happens, I'd readily put my stamp of approval on a Metaform produced compilation. Until that happens I'd steer well clear as there are plenty of places where you can find good beats and good lyrics in the same package.
Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 1 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 3.5 of 10
Originally posted: June 12, 2007