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Snakes

Stamped more with the twisted genius of RZA than ODB, this is an audaciously weird album with half-formed verses and stray ramblings pieced together over an hypnotic fog of scratchy samples and darkly dusted beats. At times Dirty’s wild charisma makes up for his obvious lyrical deficiencies, and he does manage come up with some enduring moments – listen to “Brooklyn Zoo” on its own and you hear a naturally inventive rapper whom the beat can barely contain: “I’m the one man army/Ason/I never been tooken out/I keep MCs lookin out.” Problem is, that’s his only verse, or at least his only style. After multiple repetitions of same – repeating even the exact same lines at some points – the act gets old. Fortunately, RZA’s most eccentric production work in the catalog keeps things interesting, along with some guest spots like an early Killah Priest appearance on “Snakes.” The album reminds me of Trout Mask Replica, Captain Beefheart’s loony masterpiece produced by Frank Zappa. Compare the Captain’s stoned ramblings to two wayward hippies and Dirty’s schoolyard histrionics or the overall tone that sounds at first like unruly madness until closer listens reveal the method. RZA and Zappa were of one mind in attempting to capture this picture of insanity on wax, although both albums tend to wear thin about two thirds through.

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