ON A BEACH OUT OF REACH
“Oh man this new Catchdubs piece is awesome”
Kodak One Gallery
Fader launched 34 (or 33) with this trendfucker jam, complete with Hennessy, Fennessey, and Mr. November 22 himself, god bless. 10 minutes 4 songs — lazy, teasy, or yet another brilliant articulation of his speak-soft big-stick minimalism?
Sure ain’t lazy — on the mic Juelz qua dealer has puritan blisters, never breaking from the hustle except to break from the hustle. Part of why I excuse his inanity (“jubilant inanity” is l’official line) is because he’s built into the lyrics this notion that he’s so busy grinding, he actually doesn’t have time to be clever. So he’ll say things like, “I’m all that and a bag of chips/ do chicks dig me? (Yes),” which is impermissibly bad, but effectively he rides the power of suggestion, i.e. imagine what this guy could do if he was a rapper?! But he is a rapper. All this translated live, just saying — he got in and got out, smile on his face, A! on the back of his shirt, because truth-or-not he had more important shit to do.
Teasy? Nah. Especially not at an industry event — especially in a room filled with people who, Juelzdiggers or not, have to write nice about What The Game’s Been Missing just so they can stay in good with Def Jam gatekeeper Gabriel Tesoriero. If anything, the short set spoke to modesty, deference, maybe even an acknowledgement that this wasn’t his party, he was just a (special) guest. Maybe rappers think live hip-hop sucks too.
Plus, for a guy who’s had good luck on the dial with “There It Go (The Whistle Song)” and better on the mixhut scene with exclusives like “Pick It Up,” seems funky he’d spend half the set on two old Cam’stigated verses — “Oh Boy” is easily his worst shit lyrically, no charisma either. He’s still riding Killa, which bothers me because he’s on some different and autonomous shit — no need to keep him in relief to papa purp. Juelz’s the fucking Teddy Roosevelt of crack rap right now, consistent aesthetic to boot. Not sure the game’s missing that, per se, but stick-up kids, play along.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 16, 2005