Roc C

Within hip-hop music, there lie well-recognized subdivisions or types.  There’s rap music, which glorifies things like rims, cars and gyrating women who can multi-task while still demonstrating their flexibility in a handstand.  There’s conscious rap, marked by commentary on politics, the community, or the beauty of a woman like myself (cough).  There’s also stoner rap for all of those individuals who like to touch the clouds, literally.

With Roc C’s latest installment the title of the album would lead listeners to believe the project would lean toward the Curren$y or Smoke DZA type, with rhymes dedicated to blowing trees, etc—this album really isn’t that.  On the contrary, production from Madlib, Jansport J, Lex Luther, Jake One, The Alchemist, Oh No, Dee One, Lee Bannon and etc, as well as collaborations from: Freeway, Oh No, Blu, Rapper Big Pooh, Guilty Simpson, Alchemist, Tri-State and more make Stoned Genius a decidedly solid, grounded hip-hop album.

The album has several high points which start with the Jake One-produced “Over Broil,”  which includes an effortless introduction by Freeway. Roc C has an interesting way of approaching the tracks, rapping a little offbeat at times, adding a unique quality to his music, which is put to good use here. The next highlight is a two-part series about relationships in the form of “Roses Die,” and “Open Wounds.”  The first track in the series begins with the Dee One produced “Roses Die,” featuring Raven Sorvino.  The vibe of this track is just smooth, from the vocals in the beginning to the verses speaking about relationship dynamics.  “One Wounds,” produced by Janpsort J explores relationship dynamics with lyrics like  “…simple conversations so disgusting.  Wonder why I get the silent treatment/ If I’m gone then I guess I’m leaving chasing money dreams, but still, believing in the Forbes Life.  We can live the Forbes life."

“Knock Knock,” is the party joint on the album that makes you want to dance uncontrollably while doing that stank face—The Unknown produced a banger.  “Fly Kicks,” featuring Termanology is the cliché sneaker joint that has been restructured for years since Run DMC first spoke about their Adidas--but what really works on this song is the production laid out by Lee Bannon.  It’s a smooth sample, which essentially helps to make this track a standout.

Overall, a rather consistent project, and fans of what he has already released (namely Scapegoat) will not be disappointed. Nice listen for all the hip-hop heads out there.

-Erin Duncan