By Nolan Lewis
50 Cent says in the chorus of The Game’s new single, “Nobody doing how we doing so show us some love.”
Thug rap has spread faster than herpes in a co-ed dorm. The conscious emcee has been pushed to the underground garnering about as much attention as the creepy and ranting homeless guy with no legs. Rejection by the mainstream does not mean they are not worthy of “some love.”
The collaborative effort of two of Canada’s finest underground artists is an excellent example of an album that won’t get the attention it deserves. Nothing is Cool is mcenroe and Birdapres’ big “fuck you” to their oppressor, which extends farther than just hip-hop. However, this is not an attempt to create buzz by starting beef, a technique used by the aforementioned thug rapper. The lyrics are intimate and packed with an insightful wit, proving more than mindless bashing. The title track is a perfect example of mcenroe and Birdapres’ substantial lyric attack: “With good teeth and skin that’s just flawless/claiming poverty, that shit’s obnoxious/try too hard on some wanna be shit/throwback flow for a novelty hit.”
Throughout the album mcenroe and Birdapres give shout outs to their influences like rap icons Eric Blow and De Le Soul. Their old-school inspired beats are more than just novelty–by infusing the sound of violins, trumpets, organs and guitars, the two emcees prove their mastery of production. The beats vary from what sounds like a funked-up Mariachi band in “Break Merchant” to the head bobbing ’80s pop injected beats of “Nothing is Cool” and “Party People.”
mcenroe and Birdapres’ collaboration on Nothing is Cool is proof of the talent dwelling in the underground. The duo’s conscious lyrics infused with wit are delivered over a barrage of original and infectious beats on par with other Canadian hip-hop acts. The duo can proudly join the ranks of k-os and Swollen Members.