Sound: The first song of Blakroc, "Coochie", starts out dark and brooding, then abruptly switches to a thumping beat and the now dead Ol' Dirty Bastard rapping. It is not a song you necessarily would dance to, but it is still a song that will blow your mind. This sets the tone for the rest of the album. You wont find these songs being played at a dance along with lil wayne, but Blakroc is still a masterpiece. Everyone involved with this album brought their "A" game. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys supply the instrumentals and background vocals, but they keep things simple, trying not to take away from the rapping side of the album. Despite the instrumental's simplicity however, it is still better than the majority of the instrumentals out there on rap albums. Auerbach, master of the guitar riff, supplies great background guitar, and Carney supplies hip-hop savvy drum beats. In terms of rapping, many great rappers were involved, all very experienced with the exception of NOE. All the pieces came together perfectly on this album, with each musician complementing each other's sound without awkwardness.
In terms of songs, there is only one that is hard to keep your attention the entire way through, that being "Telling me Things" with RZA rapping. It sounds like it was done in a couple minutes with one take. "Hard Times', "Hoochie Coo", "Hope Your Happy", and "Stay off the F--ing Flowers" are probably the four best tracks. That said, this is not the type of album where you buy the most popular song off the album off itunes. If you are going to spend money on this, buy the entire album. It is definitely worth your money. // 10
Lyrics: This is no Roots album, you aren't going to get politically driven lyrics off of this album. This is not because the lyricists are not qualified, but because each rapper was only given about a day to write his lyrics, and the recordings for the album were finished in 11 days because the producers didn't want this to turn into a year-long project. The two songs that do shine lyrically are "On the Vista" and Stay of the F--ing Flowers, done by Mos Def and Raekwon respectively. Mos Def is has long been regarded as a lyrical genius, and although it is hard to make out what Raekwon is saying, you can tell it is important. You'll know what I mean when you hear it. // 6
Overall Impression: On other rap/rock collaborations I've heard, it sounds like both the rappers and the rockers have the volume on their amplifiers up to high, making the sounds collide with each other and sound sloppy. Additionally, many of the songs seemed to have been made with not much care about the finished product, just something each artist had to do to get some more recognition. This is not the case with Blakroc I have found out. Neither The Black Keys nor the rappers seem to be taking too much of the limelight. Also, you can tell they cared about this album, and wanted to make something that sounded like nothing heard before and that sounded good. Even though the album was completed in 11 days, in no way except perhaps the "Telling me Things" song does it sound rushed. Get a copy for yourself and support good music. // 10