Monday, 9 February 2009

'The Illegal Operator' - Dr. Crobe (album review)

Having a good rap name and an interesting background, it seems, can be the making of an album. Dr. Crobe relies on the ‘doctor’ part of his name (‘Plastic Surgery’, ‘Gin Lane’ and ‘In the Lab’) and his train line based graffiti legacy (‘Hot Spots Cold Nights’) for inspiration on ‘The Illegal Operator’ (The title track combines the two). Strangely, I don’t think it’s actually a bad thing – the album is very consistent as a result. In fact it borders on ‘concept’ status.

OK, so Crobe deviates in places: Opener ‘Rappers Coffee Morning’ wryly likens most MCs to grannies meeting at 11.00 for a brew, biscuits and a gossip. ‘Boogie Down Bradford’ bigs up his place of residence, not known as a Hip Hop hotbed, but nevertheless, he proves it’s worthy of stealing the prefix of the Bronx.

‘Shapeshifters’ (which features Groundwurq's J-Simple and Sam Hep) demonstrates the ill out lyrical abilities of Crobe whereas ‘Money Grows’, ‘Show The Kids’ and ‘Don’t Smoke Crack’ explore life, crime and vices.

The production is divied up between Brutal Artistry and Electric Pimpernels – two more local outfits. The latter often provide a live feel, still a rarity in Hip Hop. The focus of the beats is making heads nod whether that be through piano and string led backdrops or funk fuelled bangers.

‘The Illegal Operator’, out now on Brews N Biscuits can be bought directly from Dr. Crobe’s website for a tenner. If you buy, you’ll also get ’10 Graf Commandment’s’, Crobe’s version of Biggies immortal ’10 Crack Commandments’.

1 comment:

BANE said...

BIG ALBUM! The Illegal Opperator is dope, support Dr Crobe and cop the CD! Brutal Artistry kills it on the production! word