Socalled, “These Are The Good Old Days”
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Rap today is all about the hook. Just look at artists like Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em and will.i.am — neither has anything worthwhile to offer between choruses. (And sometimes even during the choruses.) Socalled, however, has an entire mess of things up his sleeve — all the time. Throughout his second release, Ghettoblaster, the rapper/producer continuously challenges his listener with controversial — and often hysterical — lyrics, as well as musical combinations that no mix-master would, in his or her right mind, ever attempt.
“These Are the Good Old Days,” the first single off his newest album, begins with the controversial line, “My god’s going to kick your god’s ass,” followed by short, spoken prose from emcee Subtitle about text messaging and contraceptives. These, according to the L.A. rapper, are among the great innovations of world history, much like what the “Egyptians reached when they had, like, magical building and secret things.” These quick, witty lyrics set the stage for an album that ignores — and even defies — mainstream hip-hop norms.
But Socalled’s scandalous writing takes a backseat to his brilliant blend of oft-obscure genres. From hardcore rap to accordion riffs and Middle Eastern, uh, noise, the Canadian rapper is truly out of his mind — and thank god for it. As radio-rap now seems to follow some club-conscious formula, Socalled represents an underground movement that bends — no, breaks — those rules.
— By Entertainment Editor Chris French