Thursday, November 16, 2017

PAPA REU, "Xcuse Me!" (2000)

Allow me to explain.

Xcuse Me! is minimalist compared to most Pen 'n' Pixel offerings. The off-white framing makes it look almost incomplete. Then there's Papa, looking unashamed at his resemblance to Ja Rule, posing in front of (not) his car and some pillars holding up nothing. Worse, while many of these covers are emblazoned with the names of other rappers featured on the records, Xcuse Me! boasts a list of other rappers whose records Papa Reu has been featured on--but none of whom reciprocated.

I feel bamboozled. I feel insulted that someone put this out into the world with the sincere expectation that a non-blood relation would actually buy a copy.

"Intro"--Papa Reu is Houston-based, but born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. Thus, he makes hip-hop with a reggae tinge. Which sounds as appealing as a can of Coke with a strychnine tinge.

"Shine"--Guest rapper TC sounds like BG on Robitussin. Papa Reu sounds like bootleg Shabba Ranks. Great. Awesome. Tell me more, sir, of the wealth you enjoy.

"Bluka Bluka"--This shit is a hate crime. Fake BG is back, joined by fake Wyclef on guitar.

"Holla"--Not content to jock the look, Papa Reu also lifts from Ja Rule's one good song. (Kinda, anyway.) The chorus isn't the title to infinity, yet I still long for the comforting embrace of stomach flu.

"Na Mean"--"Na na na na!"

And we're back. A fairly intense beat that Papa Reu dribbles all over.

"Diamonds & Pearls"--Holly holy, Li'l Keke is on this? Guys, he's a rapper. Real true and actual. Original member of the Screwed Up Click. Over two dozen albums to his name. When Keke talks over a beat, folk tend to listen, and to believe.

Papa Reu, not so much. He never actually pronounces the "s" in "pearls," so I'm assuming his lady only gets the one.

"Be Bout Ya Issue"--Following up his ode to the good life, here's a gangster missive. Marinate, haters. The cat that produced this is probably dead now, so I'll go easy.

"Bubble"--It's a Papa Reu song, it ain't supposed to bubble.

"Now Everybody Wanna Be Down"--Those people who said Reu would never "make it" were wrong! Never mind that I used to read The Source, XXL, Rolling Stone and Spin religiously and never once saw mention made of this meffer.

"How We Ball"--The music has the Atari-esque bop of a solid Cash Money song.

"Skit"--Eat me, loser.

"Black Queen"--Positivity performed with all the zeal of a stepped-on snail.

"X-Cuse Me"--Ras Intelligence is a basic gangster rapper bringing basic gangster raps.

"Looking Good"--Sounding bad.

"Grimy Niggas"--Featuring Ali. Not the one regarded as the most lyrical member of the St Lunatics (meaning, he threw in a three-syllable word once every sixteen bars). In the style of cheap 90s Southern rap, lazy percussion and lazier synth patterns rule the day.

"Outro"--Three and a half minutes? Not acceptable, let alone excusable.

Fucking Steve Martin and Eek-a-Mouse would have made a better album.

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