Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ski Beatz

  • 24 Hour Karate School [DD172 New York, 2010] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

24 Hour Karate School [DD172 New York, 2010]
North Carolinan David Willis is a journeyman beatmaker-producer--big credit: no-big-deal Camp Lo--who's spent the major chunks of his two-decade career in New York. Recently he oversaw two official releases by Young Money second-stringer Curren$y, the kind of thug lite who's admired by Rick Ross's real-fake claque. Those who prefer those albums bemoan the loss here of two Mos Def raps I crashed my search engine seeking out. They're probably good--Mos Def has it all over mos of the nonentities who provide the vocal sounds on this beats-first showcase. Not Jean Grae, though--here's hoping Willis lures her out of her apartment. And note that the Mos Def songs in question, "Cream of the Planet" and "Taxi," finish this off on the upswing as sayonora instrumentals. I listen to hip-hop for the rapping. But I've spent a lot of time dwelling on the music here, which combines beats per se with grandiosities like the dramatic intro to "Nothing but Us," the guitar hook of "Scaling the Building," and the full-on movie theme that carries "Cream of the Planet." Sayonora instrumentals fit right in. B+