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The Dick Swanson Theory

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Album Review

Rasco, a rapper from California, hit the scene big in 1998 with his solo debut album on Stones Throw, Time Waits for No Man. He was proud, he was blunt, he was fresh, and he soon became one of the Bay Area's most notable underground stars. Since then he's hooked up with Planet Asia to form Cali Agents, switched labels a few times, and released a handful of solo records. 2005's The Dick Swanson Theory, on Pocketslinted, finds Rasco pretty much where he started nearly ten years ago. His rhymes are confident (braggadocio is a word often associated with him), his beats are heavy, he has a smattering of guest artists (including Planet Asia, Ras Kass, San Quinn, and Aesop Rock), an instrumental or two, some good soul grooves, and a lot of sports metaphors (the best one being "I give them nothing they can cling to/Like fastballs on the swing-through"). His followers will especially appreciate "What Happened to the Game," where he reflects on life over nice, jazzy riffs, and the vaguely uplifting "Situations," which has a Jedi Mind Tricks-like piano groove and a smooth lyrical flow. Rasco also seems to be trying to win new, younger fans who might normally listen to pop music: "Backdown" has an "I'm a Slave 4 U" kind of hook, "No Love" samples Jackie DeShannon's "What the World Needs Now Is Love," and "World's Collide" is very much inspired by Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life." Rasco has already established himself in the hip-hop world, but The Dick Swanson Theory is yet another release from an artist who's saying, and has been saying, that he's here to stay.


Born: San Mateo, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

San Mateo native Rasco (whose name is an acronym for "realistic, ambitious, serious, cautious, and organized") worked as a member of the West Coast hip-hop groups Various Blends and Cali Agents. His deep voice and straight-ahead rap style came to the public's attention with his 1997 12" The Unassisted, which earned him several honors including number one on the Bay Area Hip-Hop Coalition chart, number one on the independent hip-hop chart in Hits magazine, and number one on Sway and King Tech's nationally...
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The Dick Swanson Theory, Rasco
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