Tuesday, January 21, 2014

MP3 REVIEW: Crystal Friedman “Hip Hop Covers Vol. 1”

                While Crystal Friedman has been a part of other music based projects (See: Ugly Sweater and Galaxykat) this could perhaps be her finest moment.   Armed with nothing but her voice, an acoustic guitar and all of the creativity one might need, Friedman tackles some of the greatest hip hop songs of my time.

                It’s not so much the songs that she covers- from modern rappers to some from the past, including my personal faves Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and ODB- but rather how she covers them.   She takes them as a form of spoken word if you will, the way that a rapper would rap (The kids say “spit”) and turns them into what would be considered a song that is, umm… sung?

                One of the easier ways to explain it with specific comparisons is to listen to the Dynamite Hack cover of “Boyz in Da Hood”, which does nearly the same thing only they have quite a different backing band behind their rapped lyrics turned sung vocals.

                I feel like a lot of the rappers I listen to today would be less likely to be covered by, well, anyone really, but hearing Nicki Minaj is not unexpected and was quite the treat, but I wouldn’t mind hearing a Sage Francis cover or two.

                Also, in terms of the great rappers on here, where is 2Pac?  I hope that this is Vol. 1 because a Vol. 2 is on the way.  Aside from a Sage Francis song (“A Healthy Distrust” is a great album to pick songs from), I’d recommend Bobby Brown’s “Humpin’ Around”, LL Cool J’s anything (“Doin’ It” or “Mama Said Knock You Out”, “Goin’ Back to Cali” would be too cliché, right??) and why not 2Pac’s “I Get Around” just for the overall sexy vibe, no?

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