Bump the Strokes in a frat house

Chris Howard and Ross Whitsett

Jean Grae
The Bootleg of the Bootleg EP

Girls can’t really rap; they gotta be at least a little hermaphro-styles to flow proper like Cadbury Cream. Jean Grizzy lets off some not-quite telepathic rounds, but from time to time her, dare I say, subtle crooning is quite enchanting. Check “My Crew” to feel as gay as I did for writing that. So, she’s pretty ugly, but at least not Bahamadia ugly. That has little to do with much, but something that adds up to more than a little would have to be the inverse proportions of skills to silicone in the world of female wiener-scaling rap.

Cannibal Ox, a wiener that no girls would want to touch, pops up and spits some creamy raps for your throats to regurgitate at your next sausage-fest. The contract assassin song is just as lame as its subject would suggest, plus the Bonnie and Clyde-ish styled hook is enough to have Jay-Z blubbering “Who’s ‘a?” I don’t get it either, but at least you have an idea of how listening to a couple of the cuts on the EP will feel.

Grae can rhyme, don’t get me wrong, but she always seems a little more to the tune of “I’m spittin’ ill flows/Shows and ‘fros never mind those/Wake me up from this dream/Never understanding the intricacies of how the fuck a girl can really try and rap like she has a peen…”

OK, I was making all that up, but the bars are mostly braggadocios rap crap that don’t invite much actual depth, like Indian bread, Nan mean? Punjab props to some of the proper pipey production on “Swing Blades;” please peep, plus I made up a word to describe it. The 45 minutes of “freestyles” are entertaining, but have nothing to do with freestyling. I wish people would stop claiming that, “Yeah, uh, I wrote these rhymes, but since I’m using someone else’s beat, it’s a freestyle.” It’s not bad though, especially for an ex-man.

-Sven Barth


The Strokes
Room on Fire

While still feeling the sticky tinge from this pre-packed commercial product, it’s obvious that the Strokes – spoiled trust fund hipsters from NYC (who went to private high school with Omar in France) – have proven to be truly boring clich