Music Reviews

Rosco P. Coldchain

“Hazardous Life”: The Mixtape

Star Trak

Okay, I have no idea what this is, whether it’s a real preview of an upcoming album by this Philly hardcore gangsta, or a one-off half-hour tape that the Neptunes are floating out there to try to get their guy a record deal, or what. All I know is that it’s relentlessly bad-tempered and wrong-minded, evil as it wants to be… and really quite fascinating and awesome and brilliant in a sick way.

So yeah, I like it.

Some are real songs, like the version of “This Beat Is Hot” (also included on the Neptunes’ Clones compilation) and the intense “Delinquent,” some others are variations on other songs (“Cot Damn” is a snippet from the Clipse song “Hot Damn” that Coldchain guested on, etc.), and some are just ill freestyles (and are usually called “Freestyle” so you know). So I don’t know what to call it.

But yeah, I like it.

That doesn’t mean it’s positive or uplifting or socially responsible in any way. Coldchain is on some kinda Stagger Lee tip here, reporting on how bad he is, how scary and profane and unrepentant. When he’s not breaking into your home and setting the occupants on fire in one “Freestyle,” or selling drugs to everyone he can on just about all the other ones, he’s introducing the tracks, and telling us how he really doesn’t care if we don’t like him or not.

None of which would matter if he didn’t come up with some of the best rap lines of the year. “You know I keep it chrome / I’m deceasing in the home / Without speaking you’ll give me your chain / I’m DaVinci, don’t make me draw your pain” is tough as hell on “This Beat Is Hot”, especially to that backwards-record sound effect beat. “One More Time” features many gems, including “If you wanna do something with ‘Sco, do you really think you’d survive? / If you think so, you’re wrong / You blink slow, you’re gone / You couldn’t even comprehend to the shit I be on.” It’s so intense and crazy that when “Son Will Shine” sounds fully realized with real live guest stars (Pusha T from Clipse and Jadakiss) it sounds wrong – what are these dudes doing here?

This was allegedly put together quickly before Rosco P. Coldchain goes up on murder charges, or something like that, and sometimes it sounds like it, with some rushed thin tracks from the Neptunes and some stuff that’s just not tracks at all, just Coldchain telling us that all these songs (he doesn’t use the word “songs”) could be hits, and that if we can’t relate to his lifestyle we should perform oral pleasure on a rotund woman. It’s more or less like two dudes threw it together in a weekend… which is, I guess, exactly the case, except that those two dudes are Pharrell Williams and Rosco P. Coldchain.

So you better believe I like this.

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