If you peeped my recent contribution to the 25 favorite hip-hop albums project you would know I am a big fan of Tame’s early work with Artifacts. After their second album and subsequent breakup I lost track of Tame and El. Fast forward ten years likeGrosse Pointe Blank and I get Tame’s recent mixtape, The Grudge, in my mailbox. At times I get feelings of joy and excitement when I hear one of my favorite MC’s is still doing it, but at other moments it makes me sigh when I get thatwack flow aftertaste in my mouth from an MC who hung on just a little bit too long. Props to Keyshawn Johnson for knowing when to hang up the cleats and make the switch to the land of TV. Many rappers could take a lesson from him.
Tame One is not in Keyshawn territory just yet. His recent mixtape The Grudge, produced by Mishap, Shape, Arkitekt, Mr. Mone is more than a trip down memory lane and has genuinely dope moments. While it is nice to see a real MC with skills still doing it, The Grudge will make you wish those on top would tumble down the mountain and make room for real hip-hop fans. On “Division East Mic Check” Tame lets it be known that his unhappiness with hip-hop is related to who is at the top of the game and “winning” .
On “Fun 101” Tame lets loose some raw hip-hop over a Gary Glitterish track, while on “Division East Mic Check” we get a moody and hypnotizing track that finds Tame spewing forth everything in his head. “Da Ol’ Jersey Bastard” pays homage to ODB with Tame spitting his clever, off the top of the head lyrics over some Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy type ish. Hell, incorporating the Gilligan’s Island theme into a hook is def some ODB type shit. While “Hip-Hop” and “Bricks Shit” come off as so-so the overall product is worthy of a listen. The Grudge: Fuck The Industryis somewhat disappointing to listen to if only for the fact that it hurts to see what the game can do to the MC’s you grew up listening to. If I can get an album with more tracks like “Fun 101” and less anger that would be a good thing. Hopefully putting forthThe Grudge got that ish out Tame’s system and he can keep his head up.