REVIEW: Aaron Cohen’s “Potential Fans”

 photo AaronCohenPF_cover_zpsd99cde9e.jpg If you are to mention the phrase “potential fans” on Twitter, it may immediately lead to discussion about rapper Aaron Cohen, who is someone who offers different styles for the sake of wanting to be different, not because it’s the norm because it’s not. It is that need to be different in an era of sameness that will make him stand out, and on Potential Fans he shows how he’s comfortable in being the smart and clever rapper, while keeping a few ingredients on the side to be rough, rugged, raw, and a filthy man if he wants to be.

What makes this album work is that he sounds accessible and approachable and doesn’t try to be what he’s not. If he wants to exchange sex rhymes by the pound, he’s doing to do that with an MC friend or two, such as ABGOHARD in the Daimyo-produced “Nickvanexelrose”. When he wants to get into a soulful exchange and talk about the culture of hip-hop and its eternal changes, he’ll do this too, and all without sounding as if he’s deficient in one compared to the other. It would be too easy to call him ordinary as he is extraordinary, but think about those words for a moment. How can you be “extra” ordinary’, and how is being extraordinary better than just the ordinary? Eh, whatever skills that lie in his work, Cohen is showing it off to his fullest potential, and while he does this with ease, he also does it while showing a sense of genuine humor. Cohen is in it to win it, but if he makes himself left, why not find out if he will make others laugh and think at the same time. Keep an eye and ear out on him, he could be a dangerous force.

VIDEO: Abgohard’s “Yung God”

Perhaps its fitting that a free album would have a title such as Yung Purple Dick but come February 12th, you’ll be able to have a bit of that Dick when Abgohard unleashes it to everyone. From that street album is a song called “Yung God”, a reference to himself and all other young gods of his generation, and those with the same mindset. If the song is felt by the listener, listener can also download the Yuri Beats-produced track for free.

REVIEW: PremRock’s “Mark’s Wild Years”

PremRock PremRock‘s Mark’s Wild Years is an album that takes the music of Tom Waits and chops it up in hip-hop form to create a set of songs that unite both styles in the most perfect way. Just as Waits’ music touches on the fabric of America, PremRock uses his style to tell stories in a fashion that is made more effective with the backdrop of Waits. Some of the tracks utilizes the stories of Waits while others are of PremRock’s own doing, but each talk about the struggles of life, the complexities of being and in truth are the perfect display of modern storytelling done in the best and most effective way: through music.

By the time the album reaches the end, you feel like you fully understand where PremRock is coming from, or at least fully understand a chapter or two from his songbook and what he meant to express to you for this project. What moved me the most is that this is storytelling, not bullshit words over bullshit music, this is part of a template that was once treated with respect. Allow me to let you know why this template is one that still works, and why in a better world, this would be a great example of how to do hip-hop in a proper fashion.

VIDEO: Aaron Cohen’s “Mess With Us”

Aaron Cohen. This man has been doing some great music this year, and enhances them with some videos that test the limits of what a hip-hop video should look like in 2012. In truth, hip-hop videos should look like anything and everything, the whole “let’s be important and cinematic” approach got old very fast and I want something that can be daring, bold, and humorous at the same time without being foolish or ridiculous. Plus, you still have to make good music and that’s what Cohen does here, with help from director Nicholas Heller. Yuri Beats produced the song so go ahead and mess with each and every one of them.