I Can't Call It: No News Is Good News - Phonte

Posted On Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Whenever folk ask me what's missing from hip hop nowadays, I always tell them that we need more adult contemporary hip hop. And what I mean by that is we need more hip hop that speaks to the adults who still live & love this culture and speaks to the situations that some of us are going through. See back in the mid to late 80's/early 90's in Philly, all of the young folk had Power 99 that was playing all of the hip hop and any new school R&B like Jodeci, Boyz 2 Men and Mary J. while our parents had WDAS that played the adult contemporary R&B with Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Freddie Jackson, etc. And you would NEVER catch WDAS playing anything that my crew were listening to and vice versa for Power 99. See both stations stayed in their lane and played to their particular audience. And with the bulk of the hip hop heads who were shortys in the 80's who are now 40+,  this mumble rap isn't speaking to us. Or at least it's not speaking to us old heads who aren't in our 2nd childhood, trying to still be young, rocking tight jeans with 'Lil whoever at the top of their playlists. So with all of that said, who is a 43 year old who's been married 18 years, who raising a daughter in the middle school and trying to keep the bills paid and who has fibromaylgia supposed to listen to that speaks to his situation? Welp, that's an easy answer whenever you've got some new Tigallo on tap!

"They say that want bars but it's unfounded, cause when they get bars nigga be dumbfounded"

See the two MC's who I immediately think of when it comes to making dope adult contemporary hip hop in Joe Budden & Phonte. So when my guy Vegas hit me Thursday night like Tay was dropping his new album "No News Is Good News" at midnight my weekend just got THAT much doper cause with everything going on in my life, I truly needed some new Tigallo. "No News..." sets off with DJ Harrison produced "To The Rescue" and has Tay doing what Tay does, "leap y'all feelings in a single bound, when this thing go down, you know the boy rap rings around, anybody copying the sound/coming right back to these streets, like a biscuit and tea wit the 3-piece, but I'm quick to ignore the hype all ya likes and retweets, fuck readin ya thinkpiece, nigga/at a minimum we gonna handle 'em, tell ya whole crew they better ante up, cause he don't pause no flaws, these bars is adamantium." The Marco Polo produced "So Help Me God" sounds very Just Blazish which I guess in reality means it sounds very Binkish but has Tay letting these MCs out here know not to get it fucked up and that he'll still "murder you niggaz" while "Pastor Tigallo" has Tay opening the doors of his church to the "saints and ain'ts" to bring their ass to church and is dope as hell. The Nottz produced "Expensive Genes" has Tay breaking down the health ailments and issues that some of us older folk are dealing with, "I wish I that I could fit in these expensive genes, a waistline that'll rip the seams/and pharmaceuticals that sit between ya heart medicine, cough medicine blood thinners and antihistamines/it’s like an ocean front view with a scope that’s so limited/cause young niggas be dying of old nigga shit/wifey sleeping in the guest room cause you snore at night, it’s like 40 years old is 3/4 life/our biggest fears were shots or armed robbery, now the biggest fears are clots and oncology/got a sleep app to tell you you got sleep apnea, he all in your sheets with a CPAP/wish that I could fit in these expensive genes, I don’t like this cut it’s like the Lord got my order wrong, 3am stress eating laying down on it, now ya blood sugar is borderline Bordelon." (Get it? The Bordelon family off TV One's Queen "Sugar?" I'm telling ya'll that bul Tay is NASTY!)

"Cry No More" has Tay breaking down burying his father, "put my pops in the ground and hit the repass and ate the same shit that killed him/your habits didn't deviate, just thought you would appreciate/my moms used to say I was a whore just like you, so mom I ran through even more just to spite you/and pops my health is doing pretty good despite you, I try so I don't die at 54 just like you." Dealing with his mom's health issues, "My momma walking slower nowerdays she got a stent, still on them newports wheres your fuckin common sense/pardon my french Im just still unconvinced, that as young as you are soon Ill be taking care of you/I get it you're the one who did the raising Im the son, but Im not ready to cry at your Lorraine Hansburial." And dealing with raising his own sons, "Cause by the time you realize that your father was right, you'll have your own son telling you that you're wrong/but be his ride or die even if you two ain't seein eye to eye, teach him how to throw a punch, ride a bike, tie a tie."

"Such Is Life" has Tay breaking down what everyday life is like "another day at the race, to the finish line where nothing significant awaits" while "Change of Mind" featuring Freddie Gibbs is beyond stupid. "Find That Love Again" featuring Eric Roberson has Tay remincing on the good ole days "I used to jump in the whip throw on a beat and write bars to it and get sharp to it/all summer long like I'm doing martial arts to it, it was my mental training it's insane/pursuing a dream and then all of it's lost to it, now I think about my pops wishing I could have a talk to him/or walk to him any way you wish you could say the same, now onto lighter things, let's start moving/coming back to this spot was a long shot but nigga what's a long shot to a sharp shooter" and "Euphorium (Back to the Light)" ends the album on a dope note. But my fave song on "No News..." is the Tall Black Man produced "Sweet You" that has Tay dropping jewels on his second marriage, "some say it was a blessing in disguise, scratch that girl you a lesson from the skies/and I thank God for my winning, cuz word to Lyfe Jennings/finally letting go of the mistakes of my twenties I admit that I am not an easy sell, but I'm the Petey to your Chiwetel Your Big Boi to tell them bitches pay your beeper bill/my nigga be for real swore I wouldn't do it again, my man said that'll change/first time is all about working through your baggage, the second time around it's all about the baggage claim/thank your maker, stack your paper, we're the real one, major key, clairvoyant, leave them other hoes on read like clarinets/ gorgeous no wrongs in this love song I wrote for us, wedding play all day with no chorus that's right." Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan listen.

"I am Hugh Masekela meets Masta Killa, your OG's Og just ask the nigga"

The day after "No News..." dropped my guy hit me asking was this a hip hop album disguised as a R&B album or vice versa? And I told him that I had absolutely no idea. Cause it's mos def a hip hop album cause Tay is spitting some of the ILLEST rhymes some of ya'll new school cats have ever heard but it's also R&B album cause Tay is mos def giving us some soulful singing too. So my question is...can it be both or nah? But ya'll know what? At the end of the day, I don't know what box "No News Is Good News" fits in but what I do know is that this album fits me PERFECTLY and with that being said, what more could you really ask for?

5 outta 5 mics

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