June 27, 2007

Drink Coasters: Various Artists - Loud Rocks (September 5, 2000)

Oh. My. Lord. For everyone in hip hop land who is praising the (Pet) Shop Boyz for their "innovative" mixture of rock and hip hop, I present to you proof that it's been done before. Many fucking times.

And it usually doesn't work.

Loud Rocks was the brainchild of Steve Rifkind, the founder of the mighty Loud Records, home of Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, and the Cella Dwellas (don't feel too bad if you haven't heard of them). In 2000, rap-rock was a full-fledged musical force, what with the Limp Bizkits and the Korns of the world, united in their quest to set rock music back by several decades. I never really liked Korn, and there are only two Limp Bizkit songs which I tolerate: "Nookie" and "Counterfeit (Lethal Dose Remix)", neither of which I would place anywhere near a "favorite song" list.

Anyway, the concept of Loud Rocks was to take hit songs from their vast musical catalog, and get rock stars (some of whom are questionable, by the way. I mean, Crazytown? Did they even have more than one song?) to "cover" them, sometimes even with the original artists involved. It was on this album that The Rza's love affair with Shavo from Systen Of A Down began, as the latter covers the Wu's "Shame On A N---a" (here renamed "Shame", although the group uses the n-word frequently throughout) to horrific results. Sugar Ray then bastardizes the hook from Tha Alkaholiks's "Make Room", although thankfully the rhymes stay intact. Static X's take on dead prez's "Hip Hop" damn near drowns out the lyrics, and the remake of Xzibit's "Los Angeles Times" by Endo (I've never heard of them either) isn't very good. (That's a running theme, by the way.)

The only passable track here is also the most curious: Everlast's "Shook Ones" is actually a decent cover of two different Mobb Deep songs: "Shook Ones Part II" (obviously) and "Survival Of The Fittest". I listened in anticipation for him to drop n-bombs like his racist cop character on Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves, it was that good. Tom Morello and Chad Smith prove that the Wu-Tang Clan can be fucked with (I wonder which song they covered from the Wu catalog), especially if you fuck up their song, although to the Wu's credit, it's obvious that they were having a good time while re-recording their vocals, especially The Rza, who is especially animated here. Oddly, the only rap group here who would normally sound good over hard rock beats, M.O.P., comes off as weak and misguided over their remixed "How About Some Hardcore?", but I think that's because their vocals were lifted from the original twelve-inch.

Everything else on here isn't worth mentioning. I like rock, and I love hip hop, but this thirteen-track compilation is not the best representation of any mash-ups between the two genres. I can't recommend this in good conscience, but I will admit that I'd rather listen to this bullshit that the (Pet) Shop Boyz on the radio one more goddamn time.

-Max

(Disagree with the above review? Leave a comment below! Don't be shy!)

3 comments:

  1. Thankfully I've never heard of it. But that cover art!! Ooooo. Makes me miss vinyl even more!

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  2. Ha Ha. I remember seeing this in stores and just thinking about how horrible it probably was. I'm now curious to hear that Everlast "Shook Ones" track though, so I might try and seek that out.

    Nice blog by the way. I'm going to link you up on my site. We bloggers who concentrate more on writing than giving out free music need to stick together!

    oh, my site is www.dumpin.net

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  3. What the hell! I remember seeing ads for this album in "The Source". It looked like shit in "The Source" and I am sure that it sounds like shit on my speakers!

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