Ill Bill The Grimy Awards

Ill Bill The Grimy Awards
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To say that Ill Bill's latest, The Grimy Awards, is a bit of a mixed bag would be an understatement; it gives new meaning to the phrase, "from the sublime to the ridiculous." On one hand, there's a great deal of mature, reflective content from the now 40-year-old MC. He talks about gratitude on the A-Trak-produced "Acceptance Speech" and expresses pure, unbridled joy at working with one of his heroes — DJ Premier — on "World Premier." There's also plenty of solid, harder-edged, more typically Bill material, like "L'Amour East," a tribute to pre-gentrification NYC, and "Power," a scathing analysis of the music industry. Unfortunately, there's also a fair bit of lesser material. This being an Ill Bill album, there's no shortage of yelling about assassins and conspiracies. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound nearly as engaging as it did a decade ago; in fact, it feels kind of warmed over. "How to Survive the Apocalypse" is an actual guide to surviving the end of civilization, delivered in rap form. It's honestly just four minutes of Ill Bill telling you to buy bullets and grow vegetables, and may be the most awkward song ever. And "When I Die" is just schmaltzy and lame. The Grimy Awards isn't a bad album, but it's too patchy to be called "good." A few tracks, like "World Premier" and "L'Amour East," are worth downloading, but don't bother springing for the full-length. (Fatbeats)