Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Spank Rock review aka Best. Record. Ever.

Spank Rock
Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo
Big Dada, 2006

For Fans of: Peaches, M.I.A., Detroit techno, electro house, partying with strippers, humping.

This is the debut album from Baltimore MC Spank Rock. The fact that it is on the same label as glitch master Diplo is no accident – Spank Rock is friends with Diplo, and the two share a similar sound and aesthetic. In fact, I thought that Spank Rock was from the UK until I did a little research. The bouncy, grimey, glitchy beats provided by XXXChange have much more in common with Dizzee Rascal, M.I.A., and Berlin electro-house than with anything coming out of the U.S. This is both a gift and a curse – on one hand, it makes the record sound invigorating and unique; on t he other hand, having a hard-to-categorize sound and being on an obscure European indie label hasn’t exactly done wonders for their sales. In fact, it wasn’t even in the hip-hop section at Amoeba – they filed it under "electronica".

That’s a shame, because although this is funky, dirty music that deserves an audience. To put it bluntly, Spank Rock writes songs about fucking. He's basically a mix of Peaches, electro-house, Detroit house, with a little strip club hip-hop thrown in for good measure. Fans of Diplo and MIA will immediately appreciate the production, and fans of some of the less shitty electroclash artists will marvel at the sounds of someone actually doing electro right. Like Ms. Kittin? Buy this album.

On these twelve tracks, Spank Rock celebrates sex, debauchery, and his rhyme skills with an energetic yet old-school flow. From the first moment he opens his mouth, he is straight dirty. "Ass shaking competition champ/ ooh that pussy gets damp". My favorite track was the bouncy "Bump", which has Spank declaring "Behind my Gameboy I got game girl" while Amanda Blank responds. "My rhymes are painfully fresh/My pussy's tasting the best." It's not all sex, though; on "Rick Rubin" he compares himself to the legendary producer, and he also drops a kilo or two of rhymes about partying - "My mimosa is on the coaster where the coke is smeared/ yo we dope in here." Even when he's being an obnoxious cokehead he's clever. In fact, this record wouldn't work without Spank's clever word play and skills on the mic. Any idiot can rhyme about fucking and getting fucked up, but Spank Rock makes it sound good.

In a recent interview, Spank Rock said that he wanted his next album to be al little easier for the masses to digest, so they might actually sell a record or two. While I sincerely hope they don’t water down their sound, I do think they deserve to be recognized by more than just the irony-obsessed white hipster crowd (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). If you are in the mood for something different from your run-of-the-mill hip-hop release, or if you wish your electronica artists had a little more soul, then Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo is the record for you. It's harder than Aurular, less irritating than Boy in Da Corner, and more relevant and original than Impeach My Bush. Buy it now and be the coolest kid on your block.

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