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Tarantino's Thoughts:

 

This is dope, we are back with the second installment of Tarantino's Thoughts!  It's so fitting that since I'm back, one of my favorite artist drops his latest 7 track EP entitled Populair Part 2 from none other than the animal planet / national geo lover (check Banco and Populair [1]), 6 cell phone carrier (bills must be sky high), MC … Sir Michael Rocks–formerly Mikey Rocks of The Cool Kids.  Now before I get into the new project, I'll let it be known that this guy is a pioneer in his own right–legendary status if you're hip (I mean gold chains and retrofits when Rocawear was still the wave ... legendary).  So I've been following Mikey's solo career for quite some time now, his previous solo efforts dating back to 2011; – Premier Politics [1]& 1.5, Lap Of Lux [1] & 1.5, and While You Wait–being nothing short of classic. With a plethora of mixtapes under his belt, and basically solidifying his unexampled sound with his debut solo album, Banco in 2014; last year Rocks introduced the world to Populair – "Banco Populair" being the full name and moniker. If you happened to hear the album, I must say that compared to his previous work; Rocks went totally left field and gave us a new sound, that to some ... not all, welcomed (I tried my hardest to write how horrible it was, but once you make an adjustment to the uneasy voices and weird deliveries … it actually makes for a great listen).

On to Populair Part 2.  Absolutely forced to be objective, not allowing my fandom to get in the way.  The EP opens with Mikey being Mikey, and for that, I am genuinely excited.  As always, Rocks gives up topics of random things you may have been thinking about doing once in your life (or maybe not) and it would probably be super dope if you could do it; but you just wouldn't rap about, nor would it be the most ideal.  Cue in “Kilo on Craigslist”. "Komodo dragon on a leash I'm draggin' him up the streets, I'm backin' up in a jeep, reversing down a one-way”–Rocks proclaims with pure passion, alongside an effortless flow to match that figuratively reminds us all, it ain't sweet. “Till' I get mine I'm dining on you swine, I'm down for homicide and postin' it on YouTube” raps the young vet, summing up in a few bars how much he clearly cares about any repercussions, with a hook that adds more than confirmation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearly having fun, Rocks lead single “How Are You So Calm” plays as if he's certainly enjoying the music (not to mention the dope island vibes).  “I look like Paul George on Indiana pacer's, except his lining is tiny and mines be all perfectly crisp from the razor”, giving so many laughable moments–“If Kanye and Pharrell had a baby in hell watching animal planet … that would be me”–Rocks makes it almost impossible to dislike.  Feeling as though this may be another project where skipping a track would be illegal, in comes “Uno Baby Mami”. Awesome production and a rare “Damn son where'd you find this” tag had me overly excited; unfortunately to only be let down by a waste of a pretty good Cuban accent that did well for the hook, but terrible for the entirety of the song.

Now if you've ever played Mortal Combat (or any other classic video game that Mikey casually meshes with unlikely but somehow fitting mergers), “Raiden” gives you life – “I'm lightening quick, I'm Raiden man … shocking on that stove, gimmie that spoon”–declares the MC as he whips on a hook dedicated to the legendary character and the legendary cook up (Let's not incriminate anybody here lol).  Just when I thought he lost me, Rocks brings the flavor and flow back, rapping : “Thinking I ain't got it on me, in my luggage boy we packin' ours … I'll stretch ya and Shorty [K] will take the charge like a Tesla”, easily making it one of my favorite tracks on the album.

As the project progresses,  so do the bizarre voices and eccentric deliveries (partially why it was hard for me to welcome Populair [1] … initially). Nevertheless, after numerous plays, “Stop Searching” completely overdoses on fun;–leading me to believe, maybe we could've done without the overly playful hook and unduly slow delivery (but what do I know?).  Thanking God for “The Woods”; as the vibe begins to mellow, Sir Michael Rocks keeps it all the way real revealing the life of Antoine Reed.  Introspectively disclosing memories of childhood, potential-fatherhood, and Cool Kids stardom, helping make the already relatable MC from Matteson more than identifiable to listeners.   

 

With Populair Part 2 coming to a close, Rocks scraps the rapper title and gives us his R&B effort “U Kill Me”. Auto-tune assisted; Mikey sings of torture, vehemence, and want, plausibly professing: “I only think I love you when you're hurting me … You so sadistic, emotionless bitch ”, sucking the life out of anyone (myself included) who may have forgotten what he was capable of.

Despite a few perceived bumps in the road, even though Populair Part 2 was at times a bit peculiar, there were glimmers of greatness.  I for one thinks he deserves more credit for being such a trendsetter, let alone the timeless material Rocks has released in the span of his career.  Still, I am a Banco advocate and Populair supporter.  My advice to those unaware of the MC, give the project a thorough listen … who knows I may actually come to appreciate it more one day (as I've done with so many in the past already). So if you haven't heard it yet, you be the judge and spin that Populair Part 2 available now via Stream and/or cop it on iTunes.

 

As always … Peace and Love,
N. Tarantino   
(Darnell Schoolfield)

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