|Preconceptions: I know and love BDP. I know that they’re at an elite level in terms of hip hop history. This album title is the only one that I could name off the top of my head besides Criminal Minded, so it’s likely their 2nd best one.After Listening: Someone left this album sitting on the counter without putting it back in the refrigerator and now it has gone bad a bit. There is certainly mold growing on it in some places and I’m not sure you should eat it. Its very time and place specific and while that was great in 1991, its not nearly as great 20 years later. It feels bloated, tired, and just generally slow. None of those adjectives are what I would have assumed I would use to describe a BDP record. I was expecting more of a sense of urgency, or a least a drive of some sort. Instead, the stupid “lectures” disrupt any flow that the album might have had and ruins any forward momentum from the several good songs the album actually has. Its different from what I expected, but not in a good way.
Favorites: Breath Control – this song most resembles a quote unquote rap song, and on this album, that stands out. Material Love – There are a lot of things to like here, a great story, a good metaphor, good production, etc.
Overall: There is certainly likeable stuff here, several of the songs are not only a pleasure to listen to but are informative as well. But in terms of the overall album, as reviewed in terms of “how much would you enjoy putting the record on the turntable and letting the needle drop and not getting up again until its over” then I have to rate this album fairly low. It was very important at the time, and I understand why. Obviously hip hop as a genre was advanced by having this album created. However, it has serious flaws that become more and more glaring as time passes. 2.2 mostly on the strength of Material Love and Breath Control.