Review : The Gift of Gab - The Next Logical Progression
PopmattersFrom his time in Blackalicious through his solo work and various collaborations, Gift of Gab has stood out for his rhymes, his vocabulary, and his flow. Whether he’s rapping over jazz-influenced beats, soul samples, or outer space effects, Gab’s gotten a generally positive message across in memorable ways. All that’s still present on The Next Logical Progression, but he’s made this record as accessible as anything he’s done in a long time and, in simplifying things, he’s taken a step forward.
The beats here come from a collaboration with musician G Koop, and were largely driven by Gab’s humming, which Koop then turned into the recordings. The album stays away from the spacier sounds that Gab’s used in the past, and gets its best traction when it closes in on Stevie Wonder territory. There’s a throwback feel to a few of these tracks, but the record still sounds vibrant....full text
PastemagazineFor Blackalicious frontman Gift of Gab, his artistry has always lived outside of hip-hop’s fashionable margins, his old-school cadence as nostalgic as the dusty drum breaks he prefers. Over the years, that aesthetic has worked well for the veteran MC: he’s worked with everyone from ?uestlove to Zack de la Rocha, from Ledisi to the iconic Gil Scott-Heron. Through it all, the Gift of Gab has always remained true to himself, no matter how esoteric his blend of preachy rhymes and distinctive baritone. He’s unapologetic, lyrically seasoned, and has no problems reminding you of such. And just like some of his peers, he has a big problem with the current state of hip-hop and its dearth of talent. Much of the genre is drowning in glossy pop glaze, and raw lyricism with a purpose is few and fair between. “It doesn’t take a bit of talent to do what they do, the game is fully tainted,” Gab rhymes on his new album, Next Logical Progression. “It would be hate if I critique, and talk about all the wackness that is blatant I can see.”
Gab’s got a point. Now more than ever, any bit of criticism is largely misconstrued as “hate,” now matter how intelligent the argument. Therefore, Gab wants MCs and the listening public to re-embrace complex wordplay with a message, much like the fluid expression for which he is known. That’s commendable, except Next Logical Progression feels staid and too steeped in the past, from the wistful sway of its piano loops to the stilted swing of its instrumentals. Get past the music, and Progression is littered with questionable decisions: the hook to “Protocol” feels almost comedic when harmonized (“Just call me a conscious fool, that rhymes circles around you/Please respect my protocol, one by one, I’ll kill you all.”) “No Place Like Home,” with its bubbly synths and Prince-inspired composition, emulates the same pop gloss that Gab chastises, even if the words atop the melody pay homage to your geographical center. On “Wack But Good People,” Gab further pontificates the hate/criticism argument, but it misses the mark with a misguided call-and-respon...full text
Free-mixtapes-downloadsThe beats were good and the lyrics were definitely up to expectations. The cover art was definitely one of the best we seen lately. Overall, we rate Gift of Gab – The Next Logical Progression 5 out of 5 stars....full text
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