So I was having a conversation with my friend Anthony over facebook about hip hop and made a vague reference to Q-Tip and Kamaal the Abstract. I asked for his simple and most basic opinion of the record. Well, Anthony is a huge hip hop head. He’s been listening to rap and hip hop since he was maybe four or five. He still stays up late and tapes the most recent and fresh tracks that are broadcast over college radio, moreover, he can spout off the names, song titles, release dates and even personnel featured on almost any hip hop and rap record produced after 1992 (seriously, I’m not kidding). I don’t anybody who’s a bigger rap/hip hop reference library than him. Ultimately, his opinion about Kamaal the Abstract was anything, but simple and basic. Here is my friend Anthony Jackson’s unofficial, but officially sanctioned guest review of Kamaal the Abstract.
1. “Blue Girl” – Best song in my opinion on the whole cd. This shit is ridiculous
2. “Do You Dig U” – It’s a little too long. Tip should of ended it a little bit after the four minute mark or so, with the beat fading out and the girl singing or something. I love the vibe of it, real funky and laid back, and I like all the different instruments he encompasses within it. My second fave, although I think some peope have a love/hate relationship with this track. I liked it as soon as it hit my ears
3. “Even If It Is So” – This song is really hot. The beat, the horns, everything. I also like the way Q-Tip spits on this. I would put this as my second favorite song, but I like “Do You Dig U” just a little more. Either way this song has to be in everyone’s top three off this album. Dope ass track
4. “A Million Times” – I Like this song a lot, just real funky. It sort of reminds me of something D’Angelo would sing on or produce.
5. “Abstractionsims” – This is probably my fifth favorite song. The beat is dope, and Q-tip is more in his rhyming mode which is also a plus.
“Feelin” - I think this track is cool, but the only thing I really like about it is when it smooths out at 1:13-2:10. After that part I usually just skip. It can get boring and repetitive to me.
“Make It Work” – Decent song, but it doesn’t really stand out to me. It sounds like maybe two or three other songs on here. Weakest song on cd, I guess that’s why it’s a bonus. They should of put “Damn You’re Cool” as a bonus instead of “Make It Work” . Shit, I think “Damn You’re Cool” is better than like at least two or three tracks on the main album, but “Damn You’re Cool,” I think is some new shit post-renaissance album shit, so I guess that song doesn’t count, but they have it on the I-Tunes version of Kamaal.
“Caring” – Dope as hell. It’s a nice little slow joint, but it’s too short to make it to my top five
“Barely In Love” – Another good song, but might be a little too rock-sounding” for me if that makes any sense. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s not in my top five…still a solid joint.
“Heels” – Man, I kind of hate to put “Heels” down here, but it was a toss up between this and “Abstractionisms,” but I couldn’t put this song over “Abstractionisms.” If “Abstractionisms” wasn’t on Kamaal the Abstract, I would put “Heels” as number five with no hesitation.
I’ll give it about four mics, solid album overall. It sucks that they shelved it because I remember reading around 01′-02 when he was working on the album and mentioned how he was taking a different direction from Amplified. I understand why the Arista or whoever didn’t release it because it probably wouldn’t put up big numbers like Ja Rule, Eminem, Jay, etc. You’ve got to remember back then if it wasn’t platinum or better, you’re outta there. What did Amplified do sales-wise anyway?
Anthony’s final rating: four out of five mics
Shot From Guns final grade: A-
* According to the most advanced and intelligent Wikipedia sources, Amplified has, “as of July 2008, the album has sold 675,000 copies in the United States.”