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Golden: Peddling Medicine

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At first glance, you might just write Golden off as being just another white rapper. On his debut release Peddling Medicine (FreeFlo Records), he is not shy about bringing up that very topic on the first track, “It aint Me.” Yes, he’s white, but is adamant about not being compared to Eminem, Bubba Sparks, or other rappers of the same skin tone. Yet oddly enough, Golden sounds a lot like Mr. Slim Shady in his early years.  Golden’s playful rap style is sometimes sped up to compliment a bevy of upbeat songs like “Crazy,” an almost psychedelic ride over what sounds like an accordion.  Luckily, he does manage to redeem himself as the song “It’s Magic,” with a sample of the 1975 Pilot hit, is definitely a high point. His attempt at mixing rock with rap is all but hidden on the track ‘Time’s Up’ which features a heavy electric guitar chord and a silly hook:” You’re time is up my time is now, time and time again I get down.” Unfortunately the beat is more of a distraction than a compliment to the lyrics. What’s good about Golden is that he holds no qualms about representing Minnesota and has no problem saying so. His love for Minnesota is most obvious on the cymbal persistent track “MN Living.” Though the song seems to be more about Golden showcasing his rap style than paying tribute to Minnesota, you can’t help but wonder if the style itself is the tribute. Golden seems to be an artist leaping from serious to happy without necessarily doing either very convincingly. Always playing the middle ground is safe but not the correct steps to actually fly above the radar. Yet he seems so comfortable with incorrectly tackling deeper issues, like on the track “The Hustle” which is more happy than gritty. Buried deep in the rubble of Peddling Medicine lays the emotional track “Mourners’ Kaddish (Prayer for the Dead)” which speaks about war, death and the battle of being an artist whose work actually means something. The believability factor is present, but sadly there is a lack of personal emotion and understanding.Fergie guest spot (“Elevator Music”) aside, above all else Peddling Medicine is an honest, non-glossy attempt by an artist trying to fit into someone else’s box. In its own way the album fits into its own four corners of thoughtful originality but unfortunately, it still misses the mark.

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