CD REVIEW BY JOEL INGLIS
Last Time Introducing Myself
(Horus Music 2017)
I’m going to start by saying that I have a very limited relationship with hip hop. I have some albums that could be considered hip hop that have a fair number of spins in my collection, but generally, I haven’t spent much of my life listening to hip hop. I regret attempting to write a review of a hip hop album but I don’t regret purchasing it and listening to it straight through a dozen times.
The album is incredibly well produced. Sean Lewis is the mastermind behind the polished sound that the entire album has. He’s also featured on the tracks “About it,” “Gone,” and “Heartbound,” where he provides deep baritone choruses, adding a nice balance against Bailey’s quick-paced rap.
The album starts with “Right Here.” I absolutely love the chorus on this track. It’s insanely catchy. Bailey hits a few of the lyrics with this gritty voice that adds a unique texture to the song. It gives the listener a sense of frustration. Providing a beautiful counterpoint to Bailey on this track is Weymouth (Sarah Morrison). It couldn’t have been an accident to put Weymouth’s dulcet tones so close to the gritty chorus. The dichotomy is perfect.
I have some issues with this album. There are aspects of it that I just don’t like. There are moments of jarring blatant misogyny that are written by people that I know to be otherwise nice and respectful people. I’m totally fine with being the cranky dude that complains about the sexism in hip hop. I know I’m not the first one to do it and I know I’m not going to be the last.
“If you’re so nice, why you need the meanest words?” Bailey quotes in the opening track. He addresses this criticism right off the hop. But I get the impression that he’s potentially addressing the older Cape Breton audience that makes a concerted but musty attempt at supporting any local art, no matter their inability to like it. “Sometimes, when you got the gift you need to curse.” Curse away my man, but when you say in the next line that you’re going to hit the club and get “four or five bitches” you’ve set off my misogyny-detector.
My other issue with the album, and I’d say this is probably on Sean Lewis (who, again, did an incredible job producing this album) is the overuse of autotune. The chorus of Finally in L.A. Is literally difficult to listen to for me. I don’t know if the words just don’t work together for me or if the autotune being cranked to 11 is what does it, but I straight up don’t like it.
Autotune has its place on this album. On “So Simple,” it’s used so damn well. It makes the song so singable and fun. The chorus of “So Simple” is great. It has a four-on-the-floor rhythm that is likely to get significant play in the club and party scene. The mid-verse drop (“uh…sorry”) is fun, funny, and provides a really musically interesting way to break up sections of a weighty verse.
Last Time Introducing Myself is what I expect from a solid hip hop album. It has a real diversity of styles that Bailey is more than capable of switching between, it features artists that provide seriously cool balance (Weymouth, Nookie, and Thrillah), and it has tracks that will get serious play on The Giant and on the regular rotation at the club.
Pick up a copy of the album on iTunes, Spotify, or Vevo.