Sir Michael Rocks :: Premier Politics 1.5
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
RapReviews doesn't normally highlight free mixtapes in the weekly
"featured review" you're reading right now, but Sir Michael Rocks'
"Premier Politics 1.5" has a few things going for it. Many of you
will already be familiar with Antoine 'Sir Michael Rocks' Reed as
one half of the The Cool Kids,
a group that sprang to fruition out of a chance meeting on MySpace with
producer Evan 'Chuck Inglish' Ingersoll. Yes peeps - there was a point
when MySpace was actually a relevant place for artists to connect
and collaborate. It quickly became a fruitful Detroit to Chicago
partnership, and by good timing or great providence their MySpace
songs led to major labels and major names who wanted to sign them on
the dotted line. Overnight they were opening for M.I.A. and recording songs
for video games like NBA Live.
That much success that fast tends to make people suspicious, and you
can certainly find some harsh critiques of The Cool Kids online, but
they were arguably part of a new wave of artists inspired by both golden
age emcees like Rakim and
more experimental ones like Pharrell.
The result was a new breed of rappers like Kid CuDi and
Sir Michael Rocks fits perfectly into this mold, which some people
derisively refer to as "hipster hop." If you put the hate aside though,
it's easy to see that Sir Michael Rocks isn't into aggressive hip-hop
antagonism or male macho posturing, and there's no reason for a
rapper or anybody else to pretend they're something they're not. As
"Pajama Pants" proves, it's certainly not an impediment to getting laid.
"We should probably delete these
Pictures of you gettin freaky
'Fore somebody fuck around and leak these
But you probably wouldn't care - probably want 'em to see you
You got the TV up loud tryin to drown out the screamin
Your roommates be trippin cause they jealous they ain't gettin none
Low-key - eighty-two miles per hour at a low speed
You should have your own motherfuckin theme song (uh-huh)
Soon as you take them jeans off (okay)
And that shit should play on replay
Look at your booty in them PJ's"
Whatever your pre-conceived notion of what a swaggering boisterous
hip-hop artist should be is, Sir Michael Rocks is definitely not that.
He does talk about "money and fly shit" by his own admission on
the Cookin' Soul produced "Alive High" but then says something most
other swag rappers would not: "I don't do it to stunt on you and make
you feel little man, you can do the same shit man, you can get the
same shit too. Y'know the better you feel about the money the more
it's gonna come to you." Now in an era of greed is good in hip-hop,
where the more hundreds you can stack at the expense of everybody else
the better, Rocks has an attitude that's so out of step it should be
the new step.
Of course it's easy to have a laid back delivery, cool (no pun intended)
point of view and a slew of good writtens in your notebook, but without
good beats what does it all mean? "Premier Politics 1.5" has those beats
and has them in spades to the point it's almost insulting to give it away
for free. Tye Hill's beat on "Face Down" is reminiscent of the heyday of
the Native Tongues, something Tip and Phife would rap over on a Tribe album.
The Warriors has a hard sounding name but "Pick of the Month" is a
plucky and fun anthem to having fun and partying. Ex-Odd Future affiliate
Brandun DeShay drops a very OF-esque bass rattler on "New Dress" that
wraps around your ears like a warm blanket on a cold day. Cardo is not
John Lennon but his work on "Imagine" definitely puts you in a peaceful place.
At the end of the day it's fair to say that The Cool Kids generally and
Sir Michael Rocks specifically are not hip-hop for everybody out there.
There are times I admit this just wouldn't cut it - sometimes I really do
want that adrenaline rush of pounding beats or emcees who get mad at want
to stomp on the world like Bumpy Knuckles. Counting Rocks out because he's laid back and easy-going
would be a mistake though - he's serious about one thing and that's making
enjoyable hip-hop music that you can lay back and mellow out to.
Music Vibes: 8.5 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 8.5 of 10
Originally posted: August 21st, 2012