September 11, 2009

Consequence - Don't Quit Your Day Job! (March 6, 2007)

We've all been there. Waking up early in the morning, getting yourself ready, trying to get alert with the aid of tons of caffeine (or the stimulant of your choice), steeling yourself to toil in the trenches of a full-time job that shares no characteristics with what you actually picture yourself doing with your life. Getting out of the day-job rut and into a career is a formidable task which requires equal amounts of skill, education, connections, and just plain-old motherfucking luck. Most rappers seem to forget that they are extremely lucky to be able to do what they do for pay, and waste all of their money on some of the stupidest shit imaginable, such as big ass chains, vehicles that cost more than the gross domestic product of several third world countries, and designer clothing that will only last for one season anyway.

One rapper who I truly believe won't forget about his roots is Dexter Mills, who performs as Consequence. He is best known as a cousin of Q-Tip who first appeared on "The Chase, Part II", a b-side from A Tribe Called Quest, and practically co-starred on their fourth album, Beats, Rhymes & Life. After Tribe broke up, Consequence went through your typical record label drama before linking up with the up-and-coming producer-slash-rapper-slash-egomaniac Kanye West.

Kanye, yearning for a connection with A Tribe Called Quest, quickly took the young Dexter under his wing, and signed him to his vanity label. G.O.O.D. Music. Multiple mixtapes later, including one which was officially released by Landspeed Records (Take 'Em To The Cleaners), Consequence recorded and released his debut album, Don't Quit Your Day Job! in 2007.

The album follows the character of Dexter, a mild-mannered shoe-store employee who longs for the much more decidedly glamorous life of a successful rapper. His mother, whom he still lives with, doesn't support his dreams, insisting that her son suffer through a menial job to earn a steady paycheck, instead of doing something that he might actually enjoy but may not make him any money ever. True, the rap game is a gamble, but Dexter feels that he has a pretty good chance at being at least moderately successful, thanks to his connections with Q-Tip (who is enjoying a renaissance of his own, with, um, The Renaissance being one of the best albums I've heard in a while, and his unreleased-until-now sophomore disc Kamaal The Abstract scheduled to hit stores next Tuesday) and Kanye West (who will sell many units of his Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3).

Don't Quit Your Day Job! aspires to be the motivation behind the folks who have dreams but are too afraid to follow them for whatever reason, be it financial, stressful, familial, or otherwise. Consequence also aims to prove that he is able to hold his own for the duration of a solo album, a dream that may never have been possible if not for his chance meeting with Kanye West and his guest appearance on the brilliant "Spaceship".

Let's see if he should turn in his two week notice just yet.

Actually sets up the running theme of the album pretty nicely, except for the outdated reference to UPN, as that channel hasn't existed for quite a while now. Cons seems to ape Kanye's Late Registration flow a bit too much, but anybody who hates their day job and feels displaced in their life will relate to this. Plus, it sounds pretty good, which helps the sometimes depressing medicine go down. The non-supportive parent in the skit pisses me off, but it is realistic, while getting some Capri-Sun to celebrate with may not be, depending on your own personal tastes.

The chorus is ridiculously simple, and yet, it isn't the worst I've ever heard. Kanye's production work us whimsical enough to provide the soundtrack to those dreams everyone has about being successful, but Cons isn't a good enough rapper (yet) to tell these tales without invoking a reaction from listeners which will be similar to “You? Rich? Get the fuck out of here!”. Oh well. The overall message is a good one.

Consequence seems to get lost within the instrumental (maybe some birds ate all of the man's breadcrumbs), or maybe it just seems that way because his rhymes are completely forgettable. I had to listen to this six times to confirm that he was, in fact, the main performer on this track.

This track had appeared on many early Kanye West mixtapes prior to (finally) finding its home on Don't Quit Your Day Job! Cons has always sounded best when paired up with another artist (any other artist will do), and this song is no different. Consequence and Kanye talk a lot of shit over 'Ye's beat, and it isn't bad, if a bit dated. I'm actually more upset that the title was jacked from Sergio Leone's masterpiece. Maybe I should watch that flick after finishing this write-up. Maybe you two should, as well.

Younglord's beat approaches the mindset of a darkly upbeat club banger, minus the drums, but Consequence's rhymes are the same as they always are, so the juxtaposition is slightly jarring. The hook is also fucking terrible, but, then again, have you seen the title of the song? I don't know what I was expecting.

Consequence tries his hand at one of the love songs for the ladies that A Tribe Called Quest mastered. Um, yeah, he doesn't succeed. Not even close.


This sounds like an outtake from one of the last two A Tribe Called Quest albums, the ones that nobody seems to like. Probably because of the stagnant production and the unimpressive vocals from John Legend. On the plus side, Cons sounds decent, but it's just not enough.

Younglord's beat knocks (for the most part), thanks to the fact that it features a simple drumbeat that is conducive to a massive amount of shit-talking (especially for mixtape-only posse cuts). Consequence wastes this instrumental with such reckless abandon that one is inclined to smack him and give the beat to someone much more deserving and gracious. Sigh.

Uses the same beat as Cru's “Just Another Case”, except with some handclap-esque drumming. (I'm still wondering whatever happened to those guys, by the way.) The beat easily overshadows the actions of all three rappers on here, which is a damn shame, as this showed a tad bit of promise.


This Uncle Rahiem character sounds wholly undesirable. Ladies, lock up your daughters! Unless you're okay with your child hooking up with a shiftless layabout who takes advantage of his family's generosity and steals from Consequence. The inclusion of this song makes sense, but it shifts the tone of Don't Quit Your Day Job!, as it is incredibly angry, although I'm sure you would be, too, if you have someone like Rahiem in your life.

Thanks to his ghostwriter (another rumor I plan on starting), 'Ye out-raps the shit out of his host, and even though his verse turns into a brief homophobic rant toward the end, the song (even with John Legend 's minimal contribution) sounds pretty good, thanks to the catchy instrumental from Kanye and Jon Brion, which helps explain why this one track sounds so much more polished than the rest of the album. This song originally appeared on DJ Khaled's compilation, Listennn...The Album, for those of you two who give a fuck about DJ Khaled.

A skit. One which is really annoying. You would hope that your own parents would be a bit more supportive about you following your dreams. Then again, as Kevin Corrigan's character once said on Grounded For Life, “The world needs sandwich makers.”

Consequence tries to tie everything together with a song of self-reflection, touching on his successes, his opportunities, and blah blah blah. You see, this song is boring as shit, so there's really no need for anybody to really know or care what this is about. So there.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Don't Quit Your Day Job! provides an almost perfect critique of itself in its own fucking title. As a rapper, Consequence is okay, even occasionally decent, but there's nothing distinctive about his flow, lyrical content, or himself to help him stand out in a crowded hip hop field. Affiliations with A Tribe Called Quest (whose input would have been greatly appreciated on this project) and Kanye West can only take one so far. Consequence isn't without talent, and the overall concept of Don't Quit Your Day Job! is an interesting one, but the execution is lacking something very important: entertaining music. And that will get you every time.

BUY OR BURN? Ultimately, this album is pretty dull, so a burn is sufficient for those of you who are intrigued. Which probably isn't that many of you, or else Consequence would have moved many more units. The rest of you can take it or leave it.

BEST TRACKS: “Grammy Family”; “Job Song”



  1. Nautilus is all I can say.

  2. Don't foget em crack max! can't believe you hated it

  3. consequence disapointed me with this shit

  4. didn't live up to his potential

  5. could have been better..Hip-Hop

  6. AnonymousJuly 14, 2011

    This shit is hard... Still listening to the cons daily... Better then some ol Lil Wayne bullshit