Monday, October 30, 2006

Review: Shock G - Fear of a Mixed Planet




Artist: Shock G
Album: Fear of a Mixed Planet
Year: 2004
Label: 33rd Street Records

Digital Underground are legends in their own right and the groups forefront MC, Shock G and his famed alter-ego Humpty Hump are icons of the industry. Hailing from Oakland, a mecca of gangsta rap, Digital Underground's music has always looked on the lighter side of life and the group that unleashed 2Pac onto the world are well known for not taking things too seriously. With numerous releases under his belt already, Shock G dropped his solo album 'Fear Of A Mixed Planet' on 33rd Street Records in 2004.


The tone of the album is set from the get-go with 'Keep It Beautiful' which showcases Shock G rapping over a laid back and calming beat. In this track Shock G urges listeners to keep it beautiful and improve the world with compassion, a standout line from this track is on the topic of 2Pac; "His special special gift was his love side, so many wanna be Pac but only cop the thug side". 'Cherry Flava'd Email' featuring 5th Element, Ant Dog, Clev MC and Delina Dream maintains the album's laid back pace before the harder hitting beat of 'Weesom Hustlas' greets the listeners ears. Shock is joined on this track by Digital Underground and Raw Fusion rapper Money B and Shock himself also raps using his Humpty Hump persona. The fourth track on the album, 'Cinnamon Waves', brings the tempo right back down and features Q Bert on the turntables and Ray Luv of Young Black Brotha Records fame dropping some rhymes.


The feel of the album changes quite a bit with the following tracks, the first of which is titled 'Holmedown Up' and features Yukmouth (Luniz/Regime) along with Java, Clev MC and 5th Element. The bouncy 'Lets Go' follows on with the upbeat feel of the album and then listeners are greeted with the short but impressive 'My Opinion' featuring Knumskull of The Luniz. Knumskull drops various lines about what's on his mind that could easily offend people before the voice of reason Shock G comes into the track with his reply. Shock then raps about racism on 'Who's Clean' where he successfully manages to show listeners how stupid racism is by using various examples, a few lines in this track are pretty left of field. The pace of the album then goes down a notch with the laid back title track which doesn't actually have any rapping.



'Gotchoo' again features Shock rapping about racism, which is not real surprising considering the title of the album. Next up comes the strange 'Rime in the Mochanut' where the last word of every line leads into the next line, it kind of reminds me of something out of the Austin Powers movies. 'Perfect Life' features the talented group Element and also appears on the Element's album 'elementmusic.com'. Both Element and Shock G do their part in making this track one of the best on the album, I was fortunate enough to see Element and Digital Underground together live in Adelaide and there is no doubt that the groups compliment each other well. 'We're All Killaz' plays host to some more off the wall Shock G lyrics, for example: "People into Jesus wear crosses around they neck, people into Pac floss tech's, I'm into my man from the Green Mile I declare, so around my neck I wear an electric chair".


Coming to the end of the album and the slower 'Baby You Okay?' is followed by the much more energetic 'Sunshine Rime' featuring Mo on the mic and Delina Dream on the hook. Clev MC who appeared as a kid on the 'Sons of the P' album then gets a 1 minute and 33 second self titled solo track before the final track on the album 'Your Sun Iz A Pimp'. This track is fairly tranquil and features Q Bert on turntables and also has K-Lien rapping alongside Shock G and his famous character Humpty Hump also drops by.


All in all this is a great funky album to chuck on when you feel you need to relax, for me this is a personal favourite when ever I need focus on something but need music in the background. The album isn't Shock's or Digital Underground's finest release however I still think it is a must have for anyone who has ever taken an interest into their music. Unfortunately for the music industry, Gregory E. Jacobs, better known as Shock G, announced his retirement from the hip hop game in mid 2005 stating various reasons for his decision. I'm not sure what his current situation is, all I know is that he is a legend of the hip hop community and a breath of fresh air in a business where everything is taken so seriously.




MP3's:
Shock G ft. Element - Perfect Life
Shock G ft. Knumskull - My Opinion
Rating:3 and a half Daytons out of 5

4 comments:

travis said...

I'd agree for the most part with the review. I'd probably knock it down to a 3 out of 5. Some stuff kind of makes you go "zzzzzzzzz" but other stuff is just beautiful music. That's coming from a big DU fan.

EMVEE1 said...

Yeah, some of the tracks, ie. the title track are as you described.
Was tryna decide between 3 or 3.5 for it but in the end listening to my favourite tracks before ripping em for the post made me give it the extra half. Shock says some eccentric shit on the album as usual, it's funny because when I was lucky enough to meet him he's actually as 'interesting' in real life haha - seemed like he really loved what he was doing so it was a shock (pardon the pun) when he retired.

You have a chance to hear the album he dropped after this one?
I've seen it online but never had a chance to listen.

travis said...

Never knew he had another one out. I saw some tracks he had done on his site, and downloaded and listened to them once before my computer crashed and I lost everything. They were along the same lines as these, kind of "out there" but I guess that's the reason a lot of people like him.

I saw DU in 98' although I was to tired and hung over to really talk to him much after the show. I was actually kind of disappointed in the show, but as I said it was after a three day drinking binge and some jet lag, so that might had something to do with that.

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