“Drop the mic, you shouldn’t be holdin’ it,” is basically all I have to say to the guy responsible for this here CD. And I’ll be damned if there is one person on this planet who wouldn’t agree with me. Not even the man’s grandmother could find any kind words for these 20 minutes of music. But the saddest thing is how someone can fool himself and eventually will try to fool others into believing he’s got any kind of talent when it’s clear as the sky that he’s totally, completely, utterly devoid of any such talent. I’m speaking of rapping here, not the other “talents” Rodney ‘Kamal’ Jackson displays on his website.

In hip-hop, people are quick to put the ‘wack’ tag on anything they just don’t get around to like. Man, most of them never even heard wack. Wack is so wack that it never gets on any record shelf, so wack that it never gets on any radio playlist, so wack that it gets booed off any stage. Wack is, so he seems to be out to prove, Kamal. This New Jersey native apparently smelled big bucks and decided to get into the rap music biz. I’d gladly see him passing out flyers or moving on up to be the next Russell Simmons, if only he’d drop the mic.

Just as with ‘dope’, there’s no definite definition of ‘wack’. In theory the limit of wackness can be pushed back until the waffle in question stops being identifiable as rap. Unfotunately, nobody will mistake Kamal’s music for something else than rap. He does rap, that I gotta give to him. He utters sentences rhythmically, he ends them with words that actually rhyme, hell, he even talks about the things some of these rappers be talking about. But from the jump you can hear that this is someone who is totally new to what he does and that the reason why he does it is because he connects ‘rapper’ with ‘expensive car’, ‘jewelry’ and so forth. Kamal is the classic gold digger: reports of rappers striking gold (and platinum) have lured him into the rap game. A gold digger. Just without the pioneering spirit.

Interestingly, he scores a few points with me for how he describes his (alleged) monetary status. I liked “You’re like pocket change / I make mo’ money than the stock exchange” for the obvious rhyme that followed:

“I’m Tiger Woods and you’re Bagger Vance
you’re like a rubber check and I’ma cash advance
They say money isn’t everything, well, that’s too bad
cause I’ll buy your happiness to make you sad”

See, I’m not that hard to please. But seeing as how clumsy Kamal handles himself as a rapper and hearing every last rap hustler stereotype being brought up in just three songs, I have to resort to calling him what he is. Kamal even manages to come the wackest in a cipher with wack guest rappers (“Yall Don’t Want None”) and even his R&B joint is booty as hell (“Wait & See”). To top it all off, “Watchu Wanna Do” has him muttering battle threats like “I got MC’s scared of me, they just can’t compare to me” and “I take you out with no hesitation / cause rockin’ the mic is my recreation”. Oh so you’re wack at your own hobby? That’s even worse. I swear dude sounds like he’s constipated, trying to move them bowels with a little help from some vowels. “Come on now! Arrrrggghhh! You’re right there! Just – a – little – bit – more! Uggghhh!” That’s what it sounds like to me. But the funniest part is when this nickel-and-dime hustler states:

“I was paid before I had a rap record
I hustle hard to get mine, son
I just do this rap shit for fun
only G strings give me thrills
and rap music don’t pay my bills”

I can’t see how it ever would. Forget what you thought wack was, let Kamal be your new defintion of wackness.

Kamal :: Suburbia
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