August 13, 2014

DROOG

Brian Josephs watches Stacey Dash on Fox News on mute.

You Old Droog sounds like Nas. Admittedly that does look good on paper, but I can’t think of an image of Nas nefariously wringing his hands in the studio every time I put on the Your Old Droog EP. I gotta confront his bland spectrum of emotion and how static a majority of the EP feels at some point. The anonymous MC is something of an enigma too, which is a bit of an eye-roller in a year when honest and transparent albums make up the year’s best. See: My Krazy Life, Pinata, and Dark Comedy.

Your Old Droog’s “On The News (Tamron Hall)” isn’t as “real” as some of the aforementioned listens — we’re talking about crushing on a news anchor here. While it’s not necessarily a 2014 essential, it’s a colorful track that proves that this relatively anonymous 24-year-old Brooklynite can do more than sound like he’s trying to rhyme his way to the back to one of those No. 7 Redbird MTA trains.

What prevents this track from being too gimmicky is how Your Old Droog’s character sketch enjoyably relates the dilemma of the average man: Juggling exhausting realities with the comforts of fantasy. He’s a self-effacing goofball who’s been stressed at work. Plus, his girlfriend is trippin’ — we’ve all been there. But once Hall enters the picture, the slice of life turns into a loopier narrative conducted by a general lightheadedness. To us, Hall is an MSNBC correspondent. To him, she’s the rock. Her few flaws make her more affable, while her on-air perfections — both physical and professional — means one must earn the right to watch her. She can’t be dealin’ with the players. Your Old Droog relates this over funky production that sounds ripped from Pam Grier’s Blaxploitation heyday. So is Hall MSNBC’s Pam Grier? That’s pushing a little, but they’re strong women who’re on top of their shit. And Your Old Droog likes that.

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