In 1979, Mike Veeck (son of Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck) and disc jockeys with a Chicago rock station (WLUP) would host a promotional event known as "Disco Demolition Night". Baseball fans would be admitted to the game for 98 cents - representing WLUP's 97.9 dial position - as long as they brought along an unwanted disco record. The records were to be placed in a large crater in the middle of the playing field, and exploded by Steve Dahl, disc jockey who was fired from a radio station for refusing to conform to its 24-hour disco format.
The event's attendance would go on to EXCEED all previous expectations, and after Steve Dahl detonated the bomb beneath the collected records, a full-scale riot erupted in the stands and playing field. People really hated disco that much. "DDN" is noted as a symbol of the impending collapse of the Disco phenomenon that flourished in the early-to-mid '70s.
I have sometimes wondered what was it about disco that managed to work so many people into such an outrage. Was it the decadent lifestyle attached to it? The flamboyant clothing? The overwrought music production OR just the sameness of it all? Like any other genre, there seemed to be a collection of individuals who managed to carve out distinct and memorable music within the framework of the limitations. Then there was the others who seemed to just "matching the colors to the numbers" in hopes of getting in where they could fit in.
I believe that it is this sameness, the feeling that you are hearing the EXACT same song again and again that helps to drive people against ANY genre. I have read several forums that have clarified that the (silent) backlash against Reggaeton can be directly attributed to its limitations, and the unwillingness of its audience to accept anything but what has been done before. What does all of this have to do with Hydro's album? Plenty.
Hydro and Excel have created an album that is not bad, and at the same time, not very good either. It is hard to recommend much on this album because there is little to offend, at the same time that means that there is nothing here that is going to EXCITE you either.
The album begins with an Auto-Tune intro, and immediately segues into rhymes that do not leave a memory, production that is as good as what you hear on the radio, yet exactly the SAME as what you have heard, along with Hydro's voice who sounds as if he is not the least bit interested in what he has to say. I do not expect every album to be a masterpiece. Most times, even the weakest album contains some risk-taking SOMEWHERE that warrants a mention in the review. This album manages to be so "middle-of-the-road" that you find yourself listening and waiting for something, ANYTHING, to happen.
Ladies and gentlemen, if hip-hop ever has a comparable event to "DDN", this will be the type of record that people will be bringing to the stadium. It will not happen because it is a worse album than anything else out there, but precisely because it is the SAME record that is out there - and those are the types of records that ended up sitting on the top of the dynamite back in Comiskey Park.
Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10
Originally posted: September 23, 2008