Dead Celebrity Status Blood Music

Canadian rock-rap outfit Project Wyze disbanded after only one release, but the group's front-man, Yas, has since formed Dead Celebrity Status with fellow MC Bobby and 2003 DMC Technics World Champion DJ Dopey. There's a heavy rock influence throughout Blood Music, with a lot of live instrumentation that works more often than not, but the numerous alt-rock choruses almost always add an element of cheese. Still, it was definite coup to get guest spots from high profile artists like Steven Perkins and Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction, former Marilyn Manson band member Twiggy, Bif Naked, Joss Stone and the only hip-hop-oriented guest, DJ Lethal. There's also a hell of a lot of rock — and to a lesser extent, rap — name-checking throughout, especially on "Back Yard" and "Turn the Lights Off," with the last one even breaking into lines from Nirvana and Pink Floyd. Throughout, both rappers are impressive and demonstrate versatility in subject matter, but Yas often brings to mind Eminem, especially when delving into his "I just don't give a fuck" attitude. But the shining moment on Blood Music is "Back to 88," the album's only real party track, which starts with some frantic cuts by Dopey over a slamming, upbeat instrumental, before Yas and Bobby rip it up on the mic. Blood Music is a great debut for this trio, but would be much improved with less crappy choruses. (Her Royal Majesty)