Artist: Tame OneTitle: O.G. Bobby JohnsonRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Kenny Rodriguez
A friend of mine once joked that marijuana seems to be Hip-hops unspoken fifth element. Smoking weed, he explained, has prompted so many rap records, freestyle sessions, and stage shows that with the exception of reggae music no other genre can boast of paying so much homage to the green plant. Although it’s open for debate, New Jersey native Tame One is living proof of Hip-hops ongoing infatuation with the sticky icky. From bombing graffiti in the mid-90s as one-half of the Artifacts, to his solo debut When Rappers Attack, to the PCP-induced collabo The Leak Bros., the only thing that has constantly remained throughout Tames career is his ardent love for the bambazi.
His present opus O.G. Bobby Johnson (Eastern Conference) is no exception to the rule. On Get A Jar when Tame asks, At what point does a joint of weed / Change from a want to a need?, its clear that the Notty-Headed Terror isnt just proposing a rhetorical question; its more like a confession of character. Now a full-fledged Weatherman on Eastern Conference, Tames newfound flow sporadically twists-and-turns, stops short and peels off like Pharoahe Monch in his prime; meanwhile DJ Mighty Mi and others provide an assortment of backdrops for Tame to exhibit his fierce delivery and oft slept-on rhyme skills.
Tame flows effortlessly on the dub-heavy Arizona Iced Tea, later paying homage to Newarks finest Redman on the head-bashing Moccafella. Hydromatic and Blakout Status is a memorable track where Tame spits, Aint nothing pretty here, after painkillers and Belvedere / Its clear that its meant for me to eat like silverware. Cameos by various Weathermen members are scattered here-and-there, cluttering the LP at times, but mostly neither taking nor adding anything significant. For the most part, O.G. Bobby Johnson is simply the dusted rants and ravings of a disgruntled battle MC.
But as health-ed teachers warned us in high school, chiefing too many blunts may lead to a loss of judgement and feelings of incoherence; unfortunately O.G. Bobby Johnson suffers from both symptoms. Due to a handful of numbingly disappointing beats and limited subject matter (wrecking mics and toking bud), after 14 tracks certain songs come across as indistinguishable. Sad really, because Tame One packs a barrage of premium similes and snaps, but sluggish production and redundancy end up hindering the LP. My advice to listeners is to treat this CD like you would a dime-bag of sinsemilla: best when used in moderation.