Originally I had a long and rather pointless introduction to this review in mind. It involved sequels, sophomore projects, and a whole bunch of nonsense that I decided to scrap in favor of this.
Hope this one works better...
My mother has a 1988 Cadillac Brougham. It’s gray and my grandfather (God rest his soul) helped her pick it out and even gave the car his stamp of approval. Since then it’s been through a lot from being stolen, wrecked, and getting us all from point A to point B and back again.
Oh, the stories that Cadillac could tell.
iBeast, probably not for the same reasons, has given us the amazing Cadillac Diaries as his follow-up to the impressive debut Pimp Said So...: The 1st Supper. As with the previous project there is some strong storytelling and damn good music on this one. Despite this tape being, by his own admission, a throwaway Diaries has taken on a life of its own.
A few songs on here give you an idea as to why.
“Intro” is quite possibly the heart and soul of this piece. It’s raw and unapologetic. This is honesty in hip-hop, a quality not everyone has these days. At its heart it’s a man telling us where he came from and where he is now. Also it somewhat sets the vibe that is to be expected from this tape.
“RNO” is a track that I’m digging to death. It gives a vibe that cannot be beat. To me its production is dark and heavy. Being proceeded by the clip from Boyz N The Hood seems to add to that. The title is an acronym for ‘Real Niggas Only’. Assisted by South Johansson on this one the two call out fake niggas and stipulate that only the real are allowed around them. I love this because two different timbres, two different deliveries come together to make something rather perfect.
“Poppin’ The Trunk” is another stellar track. Once again iBeast has enlisted the vocals of the ever talented India Catrice. Sampling both Hall and Oates (“Sara Smile”) and Blackstreet (“Before I Let You Go”). The amalgamation of the two collides and creates magic. This one touches on why men splurge and the toys they spend that hard earned cash on. In his [iBeast’s] case, it’s his car.
I interviewed iBeast in addition to reviewing this tape and asked him what song was most widely accepted. His answer?
“NOMB (None Of My Business”.
A while back Kermit was the meme equivalent of a flavor of the week. Back then iBeast posted this track and here it is on the tape. Here, once again with India Catrice giving good vocals, iBeast is simply pointing to all the lame things that people seem to look past. This translates to be played by a woman who is only after the money or being out cheated on without really seeing. None of these things are his [iBeast’s] business. All of that becomes a rhythmic track that is infectious without being something you’d need to be innoculated against.
Might I also suggest “Grey Poupon” featuring Grip, “Jimmy Fallon”, and “98” featuring Big Sant, Cashous Clay, and India Catrice.
If ever you were going to be an iBeast fan, now is the time. Take a peek at Cadillac Diaries and feel his art.
If you don’t...that’s none of my business.