Thursday, August 16, 2007

swizz beats- the monster

By Rashaan MeadorMost producers have their run and their sound or style gets burned out. Usually this happens because their sound stays the same or the artists they had the most success with are no longer relevant. Swizz Beatz has leaped over both of these hurdles. Starting his career in the late 90’s, he was hotter than fish grease up until 2001, cooled off, and since ‘04 has been providing hits for anyone who has gone platinum. His voice sampling for hooks technique (Cassidy "I'm A Hustla," T.I. "Bring 'Em Out") started a whole new phenomenon for producers (say Thank you Rick Ross) and he single handedly put Beyonce’s last album into the stratosphere. With his emergence of his newfound sound, he gives us One Man Band Man (Universal Motown), an album that differs from the typical compilations we get from producers-turned-rappers. Never known as an MC, Swizz manages to create songs that not only have a hot beat , but lyrics and hooks minus the assistance of any of those artists that have benefited from his hit-making magic. Also, instead of producing everything himself, he lets up and coming knob twisters like Neo Da Matrix and Needlez get some shine. The majority of the music on this album is strictly “in the club” material, which is not a bad thing. All of the songs have a common denominator; simple hooks, repeating verses, and beats with a constant knock. “It’s Me B*#@hes” and the remix featuring Lil’ Wayne, Jadakiss and R. Kelly have been bubbling all summer. The Young World Music produced “Money in the Bank” is another club heater that utilizes the same formula. The Needlez produced “Top Down” with its majestic horns captures the celebratory theme that underlies the majority of the album. What’s admirable about this project is that it pretty much sticks to Swizz’s strengths. Many similar attempts finds the artist lost in a war between being themselves and a different type of artist. “The Funeral,” which sounds like he watched too many horror movies one night, is really the only song where he strays into the area of trying to be lyrical and deep. To his credit, Swizz fairs better with the introspection on the Coldplay sampling “Part of the Plan.” The rest of the album is true to hitmaker’s nature of creating anthems that people can dance and sing the words to. One Man Band Man plays as an audio desert; short, sweet, and something that’s not going to fill us up, but tastes great.

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