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Afterparty Babies

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Album Review

Freshly signed to the Anti- label, Edmonton rapper Cadence Weapon (or Rollie Pemberton) continues — with his flat intonation and half-mocking confidence — to help redefine the boundaries of modern hip-hop, something he began on his very excellent debut. But while Breaking Kayfabe was all heavy beats and grime, Afterparty Babies turns more to the fringes of house and tech-house, even going so far as to title a song "House Music." For the most part, these new production additions work well, although sometimes the inherent corniness of the club instruments pushes the rapper's already tongue-in-cheek lyrics (which are normally a strength of his songs) to near silliness. Not that Pemberton is trying to be serious; in fact, he's assuredly aware of how he comes off, but the synths in "Getting Dumb," for example, played under the slowly rhymed hook of "Where'd you go, I'm always here/Whatever you need, I'm always near/And I know you are losing touch/And I know you are getting dumb," are more tiresome than ironic or sardonic. Fortunately, these moments are in the minority, and the rest of Afterparty Babies flows with equal parts self-deprecation, wit, and insight. Cadence Weapon is the kind of MC who's able to present accessible rhymes that also, upon further listening, reveal themselves to be much more. On "Messages Matter," which has the most "standard" hip-hop beat on the entire album, he uses chopped-up soul samples and violins alongside his normal electronics, and comments on the state of the technology-driven social relationships and forms of communication that he sees replacing the human-to-human ones. "And people, they don't laugh anymore, they use acronyms to make their opinions known/This is why I might stay home for the next couple weeks, and retreat to my form of Beats, Rhymes and Life," he spits, only later to go on about girls he's met on the Internet. It's this ability to make fun of society through making fun of himself that makes Cadence Weapon so likable; he boasts and he swaggers but it's done with a sly smile and plenty of pop culture references, as if he knows you know everything he says has to be taken with a grain of salt. Afterparty Babies is hipster rap that isn't trying too hard to be hip (instead of bragging about living in Brooklyn, for example, he asks why all his friends have moved from Edmonton), smart hip-hop that isn't pretentious or condescending, genre-bending music that knows a good beat is universal, an album that accepts its imperfections as a part of its charm, and, all things considered, a pretty irresistible release.

Customer Reviews

Unknown, Unheard...Unbelievable

Alliteration aside, this album isn’t what you might be expecting. It’s different then “Breaking Kayfabe” and has a more dance feel to it (i.e. strong beats, shifts, and just happiness in every song). Even with that said this album blows my mind away. You may not understand it right from the beginning but give it a chance and just feel how the amazing cuts from dj weez-l and simplistic but yet challenging lyrics from cadence come together. You may not like it even if you like cadence but change isn’t always bad and just respect the work the underground scene puts forth.

Great hip hop that follows what Atmosphere has started

great hip hop. Atmosphere blew up the literate hip hop scene and I'm glad others have followed.

As unique as it gets---!

yet it bumps ! It's different, new, and fresh- it bumps:yet it's nothing like you've ever heard before. Props for coming out different and still coming out fresh!

Biography

Born: 1986 in Edmonton, Edmonton, Alberta, Cana

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Rollie Pemberton, also known as Cadence Weapon, broke down musical barriers when his debut album, Breaking Kayfabe, hit record shelves in 2005. Hailed as a rising hip-hop star in the independent scene, he was lauded for avoiding the stale formulas that are too commonly found in mainstream pop but also for straying from the too often reclusive nature that characterizes a lot of underground rappers. His biting rhymes laid over his own synth-heavy, electro-fused beats have prompted some to label him...
Full Bio
Afterparty Babies, Cadence Weapon
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