Quality Street Music
With Quality Street Music, DJ Drama plays the role of A&R rep like a champ. He assembles a dream team of rappers past and present that's as entertaining and dividing in its sheer lunacy as any U.S. Olympic basketball team. On one hand, you can't knock Drama's digs on a cellphone, seeing as he lands Jadakiss, Cee Lo Green, Young Jeezy and Nipsey Hussle all on one track. But then you imagine the legions of suburban white chicks that'll likely drop it to the floor to the hook of "So Many Girls." This is high school hip-hop: melodies and generic hashtag raps. First single "We in this Bitch" is driven by what sounds like a saccharine leftover from The Carter IV sessions — one of those beats that prompted Weezy to throw all his producers under the bus. T.I. and Ludacris punch in verses that could have been recorded in 2005 ("you been in more laps than the Indy 500"), while Future continues to woo Jay-Z by recording hooks in his bathtub. Fortunately, ScHoolBoy Q saves "Same O' Story" from fulfilling the promise of its title; he's the only one who can breathe life into a spastic hi-hat barrage that likely took 20 minutes to craft. Kendrick reps TDE equally on "My Way," solidifying ample airtime on Drama's satellite show, but then Waka has to muck things up for the West with "I'm a Hata." By association, Tyler, The Creator comes across as authentically psychotic as the whole of Brick Squad, who've clearly lost their minds. That said, DJ Drama's a smart dude. His intention here is to assemble a smash line-up that could round out an entire hour of on-air space. Imagine running your own station and owning all the content. Only an idea as demented and, well, American as the dream team could aspire so high, yet stoop so low.
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