I want to hate this album. It's stupid, it's misogynistic, it's ignorant, and it's arrogant. Spank Rock's (Naeem Juwan) lyrics are the typical, sex-obsessed drivel that always seems to pop up in pop music, regardless of whether it's from Little Richard or Lords of Acid.
I want to hate this album, and for the most part I do. But the music is really well-produced and really good. Producer XXXchange (Alex Epton) obviously appreciates many facets of dance music and hip-hop from the past few decades. There's more than a nod to Miami bass, but there's an equally large respect for innovators like DJ Shadow and Herbert.
There's absolutely no reason why Spank Rock couldn't become immensely popular. It's crap, but it's better than most of the crap that spills from the speakers of cheesy dance clubs and tricked-out Hondas throughout the country. The beats are good, the production is excellent, and the lyrics are as catchy as they are imbecilic. As stupid as the words are, however, they can't hide the fact that Juwan and/or Epton are relatively intelligent.
And hell, it's local. I suppose we have to stand by it to some degree. I mean, we take pride in the fact that our murder rate is higher than almost everyone else's (curse you, Detroit) and our politicians are among the most inept douchebags outside of DC. If we're willing to wear those badges of honor, surely we can dab some of Spank Rock's stupidly sexy perfume behind our ears before we go out dancing.
It's excellent for what it is, but what it is is a far cry from excellent. The music falls somewhere between 2 Live Crew, Isaac Hayes, DJ Shadow, Massive Attack, and The DFA. The lyrics fall somewhere between 2 Live Crew, Isaac Hayes, Missy Elliott, Ice-T, and the disease-ridden crotch of one of the girls working over on S. Carey.
It's gold and black, with big bold typefaces, scantily-clad women, and gold chains. Despite some strong design elements, it's a bit clichéd on its own, but it is absolutely perfect in context of the music. (Sleevage has an excellent write-up on the artwork.)
Listen if you like: Any of the groups mentioned above. If you're one of those idiotic kids who loves to shock his parents / neighbors / friends with raunchy music, this is right up your alley. If you have a deep appreciation for good dance music and a high tolerance for stupid lyrics, give it a shot.
If it were food, it'd be: An overpriced bottle of Cristal in the champagne room of Sherrie's. Oh, wait... do they have a champagne room at Sherrie's?