Playdough. Normally when you hear of "Playdoh," you think of the salty clay that little kids play with. Allow me to introduce you to another type of play dough. The Playdough I am talking about is clay in the potter's hands, and the salt of the world. Not much difference, you say? Well I don't remember the clay I played with as a kid rapping off the hook.
The Playdough I'm introducing you to is known from his work with ill harmonics and Deepspace 5. He loves to rhyme, but instead of rapping about the common subjects among rappers these days - women and money - he raps about his lack of wealth and his reliance on God.
Lonely Superstar starts off with "You Will Listen," an acoustic track with the lyrics "We lift up Jehovah Jirah..." comprising the chorus. "Seeds of Abraham" follows, one of my favorites off of the Left Behind, Urban Hip Hop soundtrack. This is followed by "5 Cent Needleheads," more upbeat than the previous tracks, with a tight track pumping behind catchy lyrics. "Clappy Valentino" is another acoustic track, and is followed by "Shadow Dance," with a track full of horns, bass, and an awesome drum loop. Playdough follows this up with the title track, "Lonely Superstar." He laments his situation as a rapper with not much recognition, though by his performance on this record, his talent warrant much more recognition. "Lonely Superstar" is followed by "Freedom Fighters" - more guitars found on this loop, a style used many times on the disc. "Single 1" follows, a much more laid back loop backs this song, still rhythmically together on the vocals.
On to some of my favorite tracks. "Verbal Tea" has the now familiar guitar loop in the background, but is overlayed with rhymes about "crumpets and tea." "Retract the Feedback" follows, a bass-driven loop with some sweet drums and a tight chorus - "Ease back / retract the feedback / We don't need that here / rhyming crystal clear..." "Mr. Mike R. Fone" is from the perspective that the microphone keeps him company, and is a person that is too often abused by other rappers. "Soul Brothers," featuring Manchild, contains a tribute to Mars ILL and other Christian rappers. "Quarter Inchin" features a guitar-driven loop again, with rhymes about him being nearly unknown, and ends up with my favorite part of the record - a small song at the end of the track. This little ditty has a catchy chorus and tight rhymes over a phat loop - the chorus is as follows - "I was invited to a house that's divided / No, it couldn't stand, so our plan was to reunite it / And set it off / With some juice and bread for communion..." "Palm Sunday" and "Supreme Service" close out the album, complete with more rhymes and tight loops.
I have to admit that Playdough is one of the most talented rappers in the Christian industry, maybe the most talented. However, he is overlooked by many people. Lonely Superstar could hold more variety as far as the type of loops go, but he has a solid album in the end. If you like hip-hop with a little old school flavoring, I'd recommend buying this album and giving it a listen - you might find yourself a convert.- Review date: 2/9/03, written by Colin Ake
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