The self titled album Schoolly D by rapper Schoolly D was produced in 1985 by Schoolly D Records and later distributed by Jive records from 1990. The album is considered one of the classics of the rapper, and comprises of six songs namely, “I don’t like rock & roll”, “Put your filas on”, “free style rapping”, P.S.K. what does it mean?” “Gucci time,” and “free style cutting.” Each of these songs portrays a particular message about personality, personal attitudes and perceptions of the author. Each of them is also unique in its own way based on the moods and emotions that can be associated with them. It can thus be deduced that Schoolly D did a good old times representation with this particular album.
All the songs in the album are done in eclectic hip hop style, using drum sets and turn tables only as the accompanying instruments, which make the album all the more unique. My initial reaction to the music was that it was somehow uninteresting. This is possibly due to personal biases against electro hip hop music style. However, with concentration on the lyrics of the song, I realized that it is quite interesting to listen to the album. The artiste’s focus on personal stories that tell much about conventional life situations proved to be realistic and useful. The instrumentation and the style of delivery also make the album worth listening to. It is therefore deductive that the album proved to be quite impressive contrary to the initial expectations.
Based on the content and the specific messages of the album, the only visible general theme would be that of individuality. Each of the songs represents a particular element of the singer’s life, clearly stating what he likes about that element and what he does not like. Furthermore, the singer goes ahead to communicate to the world through each of these songs that whatever choices he makes are personal and no one can do anything about them. A good example of this is the first song in which the singer communicates his distaste for rock and roll. To a large extent, the lyrics of the song represent personal emotions. As such, it is difficult to clearly describe them outside of those emotions. For instance, lyrics such as: “because rock and roll is all illusion, comes to no basic conclusion”; “I don’t give a fuck about what you have, first name who the last name do you have”; and “I’ve never had a party that I didn’t rock”, each represents a definite feeling about a particular aspect of life. As much as personal opinions may differ, the lyrics have been delivered in a way that clearly brings out the emotions behind their use. The delivery is thus superb.
III. Impressions and Opinions
Of the six tracks, the most outstanding is the second one “Put your Filas on.” Besides communicating the singer’s beliefs about different things such as race and wealth, the singer clearly calls upon others to also focus on their goals without worrying about what others have and who they are. The song pushes the listener to mind their own business and to focus on the journey just like the singer is doing. One of the most impacting lines in the track is that mentioned above which says that he does not care who one is , what their names or last names are and even what they have. It is also the same song that talks about the singer’s disregard for race and his intention to not judge others by their races. On the other hand, the most unimpressive track in the album is the third one. Based on personal opinion, the track “free style rapping” is filled with a lot of negative emotions, directing insults at listeners who may not be impressed by the singer and/ or his DJ. As much as some people may not care what the lyrics to a song are when enjoying the beats, the content matters significantly as it determines the message that can be gained from any piece of music.
Relative to other eclectic hip hop albums, the album under review stands out for various reasons. First, it was done using simplistic instruments which are not used particularly in contemporary hip hop music generation. However, the album is still as impressive as the others. It can therefore only be described as exceptional.
- Overall Rating and Final Comments
Schoolly D has been described as one of the most talented rappers of all time, and rightly so. The album reviewed in particular, gives insight into the singer’s personal style, which can be described as unique. Through content and form that is both interesting and disturbing at the same time, Schoolly D managed to create an impression that is bound to stay for years to come. Most eclectic hip hop albums do not attract new listeners long after the rappers have been faded from the market. However, Schoolly Do has managed to attract a new listener, and I believe that there are many out there who would also be willing to take up hip hop music.