Ignorants and Know-Alls Keep Out

Eight inauthenticities hard to resist, even when hard to understand, or impossible to love


Dud of the Month

THE GAME
The Documentary
(Aftermath/G Unit/Interscope)

Shout-outs are one thing, name-dropping is another: on "Dreams" alone, Dre, 50, Pac, Biggie, Snoop, Eazy, Kanye, Whitney, Jam Master Jay, Marvin Gaye, Frankie Beverly, Aaliyah, Left Eye, Mya, Viveca, Yetunde Price, Venus and Serena Williams, Huey Newton, Martin Luther King, Marshall Mathers, "Vibe magazine," and Dave Mays. Now permit me to refrain from listing the titles from which the title track is constructed. Dull even when he isn't describing his medical problems, this no-talent is masscult rock at its most brazen, as certain to fall as Tom DeLay (meaning it looks that way and I hope the fuck). He's not Asia or Whitesnake, who reconstituted known elements. Even Nelson had a pedigree, although you could say Game's Crip mom equals their cokehead dad. Eddie Money, maybe? Lasted too long, but an ex-cop—perfect. C MINUS


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Honorable Mention

BECK
Guero
Interscope

Is that the world ending in his rearview mirror, or just his career? ("Rental Car," "Earthquake Weather," "Qué Onda‚ Guero").

SOUL POSITION
8 Million Stories
Rhymesayers/Fat Beats

Blueprint free-associates at his own risk, RJD2 distracts on principle ("Fuckajob," "The Jerry Springer Episode").

DEVIN THE DUDE
To tha X-Treme
Rap-A-Lot

Languid Houston rapper makes love and jokes out of how hard meaning no harm can be ("Briarpatch," "What?").

BREAK BREAD
Peanuts and Corn

McEnroe All-Stars trade EP cameos ("Breakfast All Day," "No Other MC").

AZZDDINE WITH BILL LASWELL
Massafat
Barbarity

Techno in Morocco, Morocco here ("Srir F' Al Houbb," "Fine").

ELVIS COSTELLO
The Delivery Man
Lost Highway

The Impostors sound even more pissed off than Elvis, who seems less embittered as a result ("Button My Lip," "There's a Story in Your Voice").

LOS CAMPEROS DE VALLES
El Ave de Mi Soñar
Smithsonian Folkways

Curated specimens of Veracruz style captured all the way live on Corason's El Caimán: Sones Huastecos ("El Aguanieve," "El Llorar").

THE KLEZMATICS
Brother Moses Smote the Water
Piranha

Like the Lord God Jahweh, gospel-klezmer collaboration can be awesome or awful ("Elijah Rock," "Didn't It Rain").

THE ROUGH GUIDE TO THE MUSIC OF CENTRAL ASIA
World Music Network

Bands from the 'stans, where traditional meets classical and rock is as modern as hip-hop (Ashkabad, "From the Station to the Mill"; Sherali Juraev, "Oz'begim"; National Assembly of the Presidential Orchestra, "Zhez-kiik").

WORLD 2004
Wrasse

Charlie Gillett presents songs from 28 lands, including five Afro-Euro collabs (DJ Dolores y Orchestra Santa Massa, "A Dance da Moda"; Aïwa, "Oudïwa").

SÍ, SOY LLANERO: JOROPO MUSIC FROM THE ORINOCO PLAINS OF COLOMBIA
Smithsonian Folkways

Harp and bandola cowboy songs dressed up with the occasional vocal (Ana Veydó, "Un Llanero de Verdad"; Carlos Quintero, "Los Diamantes").

CAM'RON
Purple Haze
Roc-a-Fella

Musicality covers over only so much gunrunning and sexual exploitation, though more than I would have figured ("Girls," "Get Down").

NELLY
Suit
Universal

Representing for treating women decent ("Paradise," "My Place").

BATS'I SON
Latitude

Thirty-year-old Smithsonian recordings from Chiapas, including trumpets, Christmas songs, and childlike voices ("Fiesta de San Sebastian—Venustiano Carranza," "Danza de Mujeres-Tenejapa").


Choice Cuts

PREFUSE 73
"Hideyaface" (Surrounded by Silence, Warp)

SAGE FRANCIS
"Gunz Yo"
(A Healthy Distrust, Epitaph)

AESOP ROCK
"Holy Smoke"
(Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives, Definitive Jux)


Duds

CLASSIC FOLK MUSIC
(Smithsonian Folkways)

ROBERT DOWNEY JR
The Futurist
(Sony Classical)

MARIANNE FAITHFULL
Before the Poison
(Anti-)

THE GAME
West Coast Resurrection
(Getlow)

K-OS
Joyful Rebellion
(Astralwerks)

MALI
(Putumayo World Music)

PEDESTRIAN
Volume One: unIndian songs (Anticon)

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