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When Rappers Attack

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Album Review

A member of Artifacts, Tame One's debut solo album starts with a rather tame title track. The song contains a brief childlike rap that is a fresh approach to the standard themes of women, sex, and drugs. The rap has a decent flow, but there isn't enough bite or punch to the song. "Heat" has a Latin flare, as the song contains strings and a flamenco guitar loop. Name-dropping the likes of Eminem and B.I.G., the song has a better groove, similar to A Tribe Called Quest's "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo." Too often though, Tame One relies on a stagnant backbeat that ambles along without much direction. "Tame az It Ever Wuz" works better, as the tone matches the background music that evolves quite nicely. It also wouldn't seem out of place on the soundtrack to Dead Presidents. "Slick Talkin'" is the oddest and one of the best tracks here, consisting of a Far East guitar arrangement as Tame One begins talking about actor Christopher Walken and the "black Sopranos." Although producers are plentiful on the album, only one artist appears with Tame One. Cage lends his style on "Leak Smoke," a song that has a trip-hop feeling in some respects. Fans of Buck 65 would enjoy immediately take to this track. A '70s soul tempo on "Dreamz" is the record's highlight, a song that brings to mind 2Pac. A tribute to Slick Rick is found on "Moment I Feared," a beat featuring a keyboard sample that adds much color. The rapper hits a nerve on "Iz It Me?," which pulls no punches on the current state of rap.

Biography

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A fervent supporter of graffiti art and a graf writer himself, Tame One broke into rap music with the New Jersey rap group the Artifacts in the early '90s. He and El Da Sensei were enthusiastically praised for their graffiti-honoring debut, "Wrong Side of da Tracks," and following album, Between a Rock and a Hard Place (1994). After the two broke up in the late '90s, Tame One went several years without making any substantial material. He did work with his Boom Skwad crew and independently released...
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When Rappers Attack, Tame One
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