|Official Release Date||Apr 08, 2008|
track listing1. Do I Miss My Friends?2. In Search of the Youth Crew3. True Story4. Limited Edition OJ Slammer5. Juliann Wilding6. Real Estate7. Messages Matter8. Your Hair's Not Clothes!9. Tattoos (And What They Really Feel Like)10. The New Face of Fashion11. Getting Dumb12. House Music13. Unsuccessful Club Nights14. We Move Away
descriptionFreshly signed to the Anti- label, Edmonton rapper Cadence Weapon (or Rollie Pemberton) continues with his flat intonation and half-mocking confidence to help redefine the boundaries of modern hip-hop, something he began on his very excellent debut. But while Breaking Kayfabe was all heavy beats and grime, Afterparty Babies turns more to the fringes of house and tech-house, even going so far as to title a song "House Music." For the most part, these new production additions work well, although sometimes the inherent corniness of the club instruments pushes the rapper's already tongue-in-cheek lyrics (which are normally a strength of his songs) to near silliness. Not that Pemberton is trying to be serious; in fact, he's assuredly aware of how he comes off, but the synths in "Getting Dumb," for example, played under the slowly rhymed hook of "Where'd you go, I'm always here/Whatever you need, I'm always near/And I know you are losing touch/And I know you are getting dumb," are more tiresome than ironic or sardonic. Fortunately, these moments are in the minority, and the rest of Afterparty Babies flows with equal parts self-deprecation, wit, and insight. Cadence Weapon is the kind of MC who's able to present accessible rhymes that also, upon further listening, reveal themselves to be much more. On "Messages Matter," which has the most "standard" hip-hop beat on the entire album, he uses chopped-up soul samples and violins alongside his normal electronics, and comments on the state of the technology-driven social relationships and forms of communication that he sees replacing the human-to-human ones. "And people, they don't laugh anymore, they use acronyms to make their opinions known/This is why I might stay home for the next couple weeks, and retreat to my form of Beats, Rhymes and Life," he spits, only later to go on about girls he's met on the Internet. It's this ability to make fun of society through making fun of himself that makes Cadence Weapon so likable; he boasts and he swaggers but it's done with a sly smile and plenty of pop culture references, as if he knows you know everything he says has to be taken with a grain of salt. Afterparty Babies is hipster rap that isn't trying too hard to be hip (instead of bragging about living in Brooklyn, for example, he asks why all his friends have moved from Edmonton), smart hip-hop that isn't pretentious or condescending, genre-bending music that knows a good beat is universal, an album that accepts its imperfections as a part of its charm, and, all things considered, a pretty irresistible release.
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