WZRD WZRD

WZRD WZRD
You never quite know what's going to happen when a rapper tries to make a rock album. If you're lucky, you'll get Mos Def's side-project, Black Jack Johnson. If you're less fortunate, you'll wind up with something like Lil Wayne's 2010 disaster, Rebirth. WZRD (the new rock side-project collaboration between Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius) aren't quite as good as Mos's work with Bernie Worrell and Dr. Know, but are way, way better than Weezy's masturbatory efforts. As rockers, Dot and Cudi tend towards the lo-fi, with fuzzed-out guitars and distorted vocals, although they're not afraid to mix things up. "Efflictim" is a pretty, stripped down guitar number that sounds oddly like the Stone Roses' "I Wanna Be Adored" shot through a hip-hop filter. The hands down highlights of the album are the anthemic "High Off Life" and the spacey "Teleport 2 Me, Jamie." Taken in its entirety, WZRD's self-titled debut is a bit inconsistent, but there are still a number of good things happening. It will be interesting to see where the project goes from here. (Wicked Awesome/HeadBanga/Universal Republic)