The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 

Swollen Members | Armed to the Teeth

Battle Axe (2009)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 18, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

0911_swollenmembers_main

I’m not completely sure why the mere mention of Swollen Members rubs so many underground rap snobs the wrong way. Sure, there are cuts like “Pornstar” that fall short of even the lowest conceptual standards set by the group’s juvenile name. But listen past the hollow cake and candy (“Bollywood Chick”) and you’ll find scorchers (“Bang Bang,” “Meltdown”) from this decade-strong Vancouver crew that warrant close consideration.

At the core of any Swollen Members project — and Armed to the Teeth, their first in three years, is no exception — is a clean, uncomplicated spread of kaleidoscopic semi-pop bangers from producer Rob the Viking. From there, increasingly competent MCs Prevail and Mad Child (with occasional assistance from extended crew members and such distinguished guests as Talib Kweli) let their nihilism and narcotics run wild.

Whereas “Flyest” sucks as much as any Lil Wayne song, knucklers like “Warrior” and “Dumb” with Slaine and Everlast offer adequate redemption. After all, Swollen Members are the equivalent of Jay-Z in Canada, and if this is what commercial hip-hop sounds like up there, then alt-hop aficionados might want to stop hating and migrate north.

  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Music,  More more >
| More


[ 07/23 ]   "Graphic Design: Now in Production,"  @ RISD Museum
ARTICLES BY CHRIS FARAONE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE TRIALS OF NADIA NAFFE  |  March 04, 2013
    Young, attractive, ambitious, conservative, and black, Nadia Naffe should have been a right-wing operative’s dream.
  •   HIP-HOP TRIVIA GROWS UP  |  February 26, 2013
    In their fourth year of operation, the Hip-Hop Trivia squad is finally taking the night (somewhat) seriously.
  •   OCCUPY DENIED DAY IN COURT  |  February 22, 2013
    It took more than a year for Suffolk County prosecutors to come to their senses.
  •   CZARFACE SOARS ABOVE THE CLOUDS  |  February 11, 2013
    This week 7LES and Inspectah Deck drop Czarface , a full-length work of adventurous genius revolving around a metal-clad protagonist who feeds on destruction.
  •   THE BPD ADDS INSULT TO INJURY  |  February 05, 2013
    At times, this kind of decision makes you wonder whether the BPD is saving its best awards for officers who've been involved in the death of civilians.

 See all articles by: CHRIS FARAONE



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2014 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group