2007 – Entaprise Entertainment
Now, before I get into the review for this album I really have to talk about the situation in which I purchased it.
I was walking through Harlem one morning just minding my own business when I really big guy stopped me on the street and asked, “hey man, you like music?”
I, of course, replied in the affirmative and so he produced a large black garbage bag and asked me if I wanted to buy some, “totally legit CDs, still in the plastic so you can see that they ain’t stolen nor burnt nor nothin’.”
I just couldn’t resist and so I bought two.
Okay, now that that’s all over and done with I can start actually talking about the music, which, frankly, isn’t really all that impressive. The Wu-Tang Intro is a pretty good shout-out track and it perfectly sets up the first real track Who We Are, which is a nice old-school gangster rap track, but with a much more uplifting and socially responsible message than most tracks in this style.
Unfortunately, however, the following tracks Terror, Harlem Musik, and American Gangstas don’t really have the same appeal as their predecessor. They are pretty much standard fare for this kind of music, but they aren’t all that well executed, and, while the lyrics are rather good, the repetition of the same beats gets a bit boring and their political message tends to get lost in their constant iteration of how bad-ass they think they are.
Really, I think that this record just isn’t all that interesting in terms of music or lyrics. It just runs along the lines of what you’d expect from an underground Harlem rap group, and it doesn’t even do that particularly well. What’s Going On is a brief respite from this mediocrity, but in all honesty this record is just pretty boring. Not to mention that songs like Step Back (feat. Treach) are just horrendously sexist and offensive.
Some might argue that that’s just how rappers talk, but that, to my mind, doesn’t make it any less sexist or offensive, and for a group that thinks of themselves as something other and apart from the standard ‘bitches ‘n’ hoes’ gangsta rap, I think that it’s really just poor form. You just can’t make a change if you keep falling back into awful modes of backwards thinking.
My verdict here is that Harlem Musik is pretty average. There are some rather good tracks on here, but really most of them are just pretty standard and boring. It’s probably not something I would recommend to go out and buy, but it might be worth a listen if it ever comes your way. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s not too terrible, but it’s definitely not very good.
Here is one of the few clips I could find online of any songs from the alum ‘Harlem Musik’.
Just to give you all an idea of what the group sound like.