Hey, everybody. Trying out this text thing for a quick second so I can get it together and talk about a few records that sorta fell by the wayside for me. In this post, I'd like to talk up the new Phonte album a little bit. The title of this album is Charity Starts at Home, and I was pretty sure I'd review it the day it dropped. But September 27th proved to be way too saturated with new releases and this LP wasn't holding my attention like I hoped it would.
I had reasons to be excited by this album, too. Phonte's affiliation with hip hop outfit Little Brother is one reason. The fact 9th Wonder worked on a handful of the beats is another reason. Features like Elzhi and Big K.R.I.T. are yet another. But this album didn't really deliver on the expectations I had for it, I guess.
I don't wanna be completely negative. There are some standout moments on here. The first track to drop from this album, "Not Here Anymore" had me pretty pumped. Elzhi's verse is another piece of proof this guy is killing it in 2011. Phonte throws out some nice jewels, too. He really gets me thinking on the concept of an aging MC. Yeah, he's not the only older rapper out there, but dudes like Jay-Z are still rapping about the limelight Phonte proclaims he's uninterested in.
Most of the time, Phonte takes aging and he translates it into lyrics gracefully. He's spent his time on this planet becoming a wise and likeable personality that's worth rooting for. The beat on this track ain't bad either. The hook doesn't do much for me, but it's too short to really ruin the song.
Overall, not a bad experience, but not every song on the album feels that way to me, which brings me to the track this review it tarted at: "Sendin My Love."
I can only guess this track is meant to be sorta like a frank, man-to-man talk about infidelity and staying true to your partner. The song seems to acknowledges the desire to cheat, but it's not even handled in a clever or interesting way. Phonte seems to handle spousal arguments by leaving the house, wandering around, fantasizing, and then forcing himself to take his medicine by heading back into the house to fulfill his stereotypical family man role.
It's pretty depressing. Phonte obviously doesn't like the situation he's in that much, but he doesn't take a moment to question it that deeply. Overally, the lyrics take the arguing, flirting with other women, and the perceived loss of freedom in marriage as normal. It's a sorta "it is what it is" mentality that I just can't hang with.
Plus, It's hard for me to forgive a line like this: "Not Jewish, but when you hurt a man, baby, he bruise."
Not to mention that the hook on this track reminds me of one of my favorite De La Soul lines from Stakes Is High: "Sick of R&B bitches over bullshit tracks." Sure, it's not that poetic, but it's the first thing that comes to my head on a track like this. The vocals on this hook feel so stereotypical. It's difficult for me to enjoy it on any level.
I know in the case of Wilco people throw around the term "dadrock," which I'm not too fond of. However, this is the first time I've ever thought throwing the word "dad" in front of a genre name would help me explain how I feel about a record or song. I think this is applicable here: "dadhop."
So, yeah, I'm just not enjoying this song, and many others, on this album. But maybe it's Phonte's experience that makes it difficult for me to get anything out of a song like this. Every walk of life is different from the next one. It's hard for me to feel any other way. I'm too optimistic to feel any other way. Still, maybe Phonte is right.
What do you think of this track? Love it? Hate it? Why? What should I review next?
Stream: Phonte- "Sendin My Love"