Album review: Pill and DJ Drama, "1140: The Overdose"
By Sarah Godfrey
Rapper Pill is best known for the track "Trap Goin' Ham," from his mix tape "4180: The Prescription," and the accompanying video, a raw look at his Atlanta neighborhood that shows kids playing as well as people selling drugs and smoking crack, rather than the typical drug rap video images of cars, women and jewelry. Pill's strength is rapping about the drug trade without glorifying it, and on the Gangsta Grillz mix tape release "1140: the Overdose," he is again talking about hustling and telling stories about the trap through straight reporting and regret-filled examination.
He doesn't seem to care for the kingpin boasting favored by Rick Ross, nor does he give illegal business an alluring sheen, like coke rap standard-bearers the Clipse. "On Da Korner," produced by Needlz, borrows and flips Suzanne Vega's "Left of Center" for its hook, and Pill breaks down "the life of a foot soldier." Production duo Tha Bizness, the team behind last year's Young Money smash "Every Girl," bring another sexy party track with "Ima Ride," and their aesthetic is a nice counter to Pill's heavy stuff: "This a sport and survivors are the fittest/If he standin' in my way I'm putting this 9 to his kidney," he rhymes.
The underground sensation is less revelatory on tributes to Eazy-E and Big Pun ( "G [Expletive]" and "Surroundings," respectively); and originals, like the amazing "Westsiders," with Killer Mike, consistently beat out tracks where Pill rides the beats of others. Still, it's clear from "1140" that Pill is working hard to prime fans for his upcoming EP "The Diagnosis," and his full-length debut, "The Medicine." He's not just goin' ham anymore -- he's going whole hog.
Recommended tracks: "On Da Korner," "Westsiders,"" Ima Ride"
June 8, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories: Quick spins | Tags: DJ Drama, Pill
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