Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Nacirema Nightmare

The Nacirema Dream by Brooklyn spitter Papoose is a nightmare

Between 2004 and 2007, Brooklyn native Papoose was my favorite spitter in the game. He released 19 classic Streetsweepers mixtapes in that span, racked up Mixtape Artist of the Year awards as if it were nothing, and he was hailed as the savior of New York hip hop. When Papoose appeared in the popular video for "Touch It" in the summer of 2006 and later that year inked a lucrative $ 1,500,000 deal with Jive Records, we were all losing sleep over his debut album.

Papoose dropped some promising singles ("Ghetto Soldier" ft. Akon, "Bang It Out" ft. Snoop Dogg and "Drop It" ft. Busta Rhymes), but ultimately stepped away from the politics at Jive to pursue better opportunities. "The Victory 2007" and a pair of murderous diss tracks toward Uncle Murda and Fat Joe showed flashes of the old Papoose, but somewhere between the incarceration of his girlfriend Remy Ma and the atrocious singles "Bucket Naked" (2010), "Donk Jumping" (2011) and "Boo'd Up" (2012), his punch lines and mixtapes became increasingly stale and uninspired.

This March, Papoose finally independently released the chronically delayed The Nacirema Dream. The album was reportedly finished in 2006 and that is exactly how it sounds. Aside from Brooklyn anthem "Mother Ghetto", the second part of "Alphabetical Slaughter" and an attempt at depth on "The Cure", the album delivers little more than the same bravado tracks that the mixtapes offer. In fact, if The Nacirema Dream was released as a mixtape, it would be one of his worst. The album was truly a nightmare.

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