Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On H.A.M.

Well this is an interesting turn. Lex Luger steps into the "big" leagues while Kanye West and Jay-Z, no strangers to game-changing collaborations (see Big Pimpin, Izzo, Get em High) team up with a rising star to try a production style that is quickly gaining hegemony. Thankfully, its more Kanye and Jay bringing themselves to Lex Luger than Lex Luger bringing himself to Kanye and Jay, which makes for a much more interesting track, as well as less danger when it comes to the two established artists being upstaged by a show-stealing rookie, which has been known to happen. Most importantly, it lets Luger stretch and try some shit out, rather than the other two who, I believe, have had quite a bit a time to do that on their own.

The question stands , however: is it better than Luger's usual work? Well no. There is more to chew on here than a normal Luger track just because there is more going on than usual. Gone are his trademark horns. Newly arrived is a slowly building approach, leading to sections that are (gasp) stark and sparse, lacking Luger's all too familiar density. He's clearly been saving his most experimental stuff for this release. More importantly, Kanye and Jay are alright at riding this beat. So all in all, its a pretty good track, the climactic chorus beating you over the head with grandeur and drama--an attitude that clearly fits these rappers pretty well--better than any other track by this producer I've heard.

Besides that, however, the sort of "best of both worlds" gimmick--part of this track's appeal--falls short in the sense that all three artists are bending towards each other, making this a much less original track than it could be: Kanye and Jay-Z are clearly mimicking the heavy, statement based cadences of Luger's recent collaborators like Waka Flocka and Rick Ross. And, I'm not going to lie, they're not as good at it. Lex Luger, similarly, has clearly listened to MBDTF quite a bit, adding multiple segments, operatic voices and voice distortion all over the place. Thankfully, he works well with this material and the production is what really comes through the strongest. There is no doubt in my mind that this is one of his best produced tracks. There is also no doubt in my mind that this track will get more attention than his usual output, especially from higher minded critics. Hopefully, those drawn here will also be drawn to his more consistent, but also more comfortable and possibly more enjoyable canon.

No comments:

Post a Comment