Take Em' to the Cleaners

Artist: ConsequenceTitle: Take Em' to the CleanersRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: 45th Street Black

Throughout Kanye West’s recent ascent as a reputable rapper, Consequence has been part of his inner circle, dropping noticeable verses of his own (“Spaceship”). On Take Em’ To the Cleaners, Consequence proves his crisp rhymes bars seasoned with acerbic wit and Queens, NY refined assertiveness are worthy of Mr. West’s endorsement, and beats.

Hosted by Kanye (he appears on and/or produces about half the songs), this mixtape features guests high on lyrical skill, making it essential that Quence stays on top of his rhyme p’s and q’s. That shouldn’t be a problem since he first gained notoriety after appearing throughout Tribe’s Beats, Rhymes & Life album. Very un-PC title aside, on “Wack N*ggas” over a nimble track stuffed with synth and prickly claps Consequence doesn’t let Common and Talib Kweli steal the show by dropping jewels of his own: “For all your guest appearances, you couldn’t get the clearances, for them it’s just a check they don’t respect you as a lyricist/Look at what your lyrics is, murder, death kill/But you never shot nothing, never have never will.”

If Quence and his affiliates are not outright telling you how soulful their music is (“So Soulful”), you can hear it on “Getting Out the Game” which flexes the sultry strings from Al Green’s “What A Wonderful Thing Love Is.” But playas don’t love and the age-old topic of misogyny runs rampant (i.e. the raunchy 88 Keyes produced “Trains”). But instead of remaining stuck in the usual format, he adds a comical twist. On “I See Now” North Carolina’s Little Brother join Quence and Kanye over an ambient 9th Wonder production that cradles their musings on relationship killers like gold digging and post consummation weight gain.

Kanye’s fingerprints are all over this disc, but Quence manages to individually assert himself, indicating that he’ll be cleaning up once his official debut arrives.