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Hoopla

Speech

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Album Review

Three years in the making, Speech's second album finds the former Arrested Development frontman still working through his roots-centric vision of hip-hop. More Stevie Wonder than Silkk the Shocker, Hoopla incorporates much laid-back session material and even a few live-and-on-stage jam sessions, right in line with hip-hop's growing affection for building songs from the groove up with live musicians. Thankfully, his relaxed rapping style shows little influence from any recent developments in the rap world, and it's always right in line with the material he's performing. It could have been a remarkable comeback record, but Hoopla suffers from several bizarre miscues. Speech remakes the consistently annoying 4 Non Blondes hit "What's Up" for his own track, titled "The Hey Song." To give him credit, Speech rebuilds the song with a female R&B chorus instead of just sampling the original, but that hardly makes it any less grating. The deep grooves and Speech's considerable production skills make for several intriguing tracks ("Movin' On," "Clocks in Sync with Mine," "Our Image"), but Hoopla isn't exactly worthy of celebration.

Customer Reviews

Great music

speech is one of the most underrated hip hop artists ever!

Biography

Born: October 25, 1968 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s

Speech rose to success in the early '90s as the leader of the groundbreaking alternative rap group Arrested Development. Born Todd Thomas in Milwaukee, WI, on October 25, 1968, he was raised primarily in Ripley, TN, before relocating to Georgia in 1987 to attend the Art Institute of Atlanta. There he met fellow student Tim Barnwell, and together they laid the foundations for Arrested Development's 1988 formation; adopting the stage name Speech, Thomas' lyrics reflected a positive, socially conscious,...
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Hoopla, Speech
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