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For the record

For the record

GZA/GENIUS "Pro Tools"
Babygrande
As Wu-Tang members go, GZA is all talent but no flash. He's a lyrical monster - rich in imagery and perhaps the group's most gifted writer - but his reserved delivery is easily overshadowed by, say, Ghostface's manic energy, Method Man's growl, or Raekwon's silent but deadly storytelling.
With "Pro Tools," GZA's fifth album (sixth if you count "Grandmasters," his great 2005 collaboration with DJ Muggs), he's found an angle: put up or shut up. The title itself is a play on the studio software used to edit recordings, and there's an undercurrent that suggests if you can't do it naturally, and purely, you shouldn't be doing it at all.
"Pro Tools" both puts up and shuts up. The cryptic beats ("0% Finance" and "Life Is a Movie" are incredible) are hand-in-glove with GZA's foreboding, endless rhymes, which are delivered nearly profanity-free. That's not a grab at radio spins or wider sales. And it's not a gimmick. It's just skills.
SHWAYZE "Shwayze"
Geffen
When Malibu MC Adam Smith - known to MTV viewers as Shwayze - hooked up with "producer" Cisco Adler, it was a hazy, lazy match made in beach bum heaven.
Adler's been kicking around fantastic L.A. as his father's son (producer Lou Adler) a grunge-glam rocker and a boy-toy to Paris/Mischa/etc. forever. Somebody had to give Cisco something solid to do. That'd be Shwayze, the self-described "only black kid in Malibu." The rapper has a sleepier, more laconic flow than a narcoleptic G. Love in a hammock and lyrics that concern themselves with weed, women, more weed, Hollywood, cars and once again, weed.
So Adler's crooning woozily alongside the chilled-out MC and producing sunshine strummed beat-boxed songs like "Roamin' " that come off like a third-rate Sugar Ray. Yet, despite their limited vocabulary - lines like "if you got the weed, I got the pipe, we can get high together all night" are Dostoyevsky to these guys - their debut album is contagious as all-get-out in a languidly wonky fashion.
As long as you don't lose too many brain cells from the dumbo lyrical likes of "Corona and Lime," you'll be OK.


Updated : 2021-05-15 06:16 GMT+08:00