The Uncluded “Hokey Fright” (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
When I first heard the idea of Kimya Dawson (folk singer extraordinaire) and ASAP Rocky (rapper I never heard rap before) coming together on a musical project, I wondered how it would sound and whether or not it would be good. Granted, this could have gone only one of two ways: complete success or utter failure; there simply is no in between here.
The first thing I realized when listening to this album is that Kimya Dawson, as a folk singer, is actually very wordy, and while not all folk singers are (Though some are), this does seem to help the flow of the rapper that much more natural. In fact, after listening to this CD, I said to my wife jokingly that from here on out all folk singers should have rappers on their albums and vice versa.
There is a really cool song on here about washing machines and other than that topics can be as random and sincere as plane crashes, earthquakes, being an organ donor, not tapping on the glass and sandwiches. (The sandwiches song does sound like something out of Yo Gabba Gabba, which I unfortunately have heard not one but two CDs of now)
While I love Kimya Dawson and seemingly whatever she does, I have to also give credit where credit is due as ASAP Rocky is pulling his end of this musical project as well. Mostly, the two will alternate between singing and rapping, kind of as a duet, but there are times when Dawson will be singing while Rocky is rapping. I like the times best when they come together though, like that one point when they both say at the same time: “holy fucking shit”.
Not to have the music be outdone by any means, but this album also comes with a booklet that does not contain lyrics but rather an illustrated story about how to catch a frog which is just proof to me why people should still be purchasing physical CDs instead of digital copies. Yes, all CDs cannot be this awesome, but if they tried I think we could collectively bring back the physical CD. This would at least be an excellent place to start.
Whether you are a fan of Kimya Dawson and folk music or ASAP Rocky and hip hop, this collaboration somehow manages to find the perfect middle ground between the two that will leave even the most cynical of skeptics tits up.
I don’t know if I would ever want to hear another folk singer and rapper get together in this manner, though I’m sure some awful suggestions do linger out there. (Lisa Loeb and Kanye West? Jewel and Jay Z? Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock? Geez, that last one would be especially awful) I do, however, welcome more music from these two as they seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly, so long as you don’t have a peanut allergy.