Monday, July 6, 2009
I'm not a huge fan of hip-hop, a fact which I've made clear in the past (here and here, for example). But every once in a blue moon, a rap album comes along that's just so damn good that even a terminal white boy like myself has to take notice. Return To The 36 Chambers is just such an album.
I had just received my driver's license the year that this gem was released, and it quickly found its way from the shelf at the record store to the tape deck of my 1974 Monte Carlo, where it stayed for at least two weeks. I can say, without any sarcasm whatsoever, that Ol' Dirty Bastard was a master at his craft, one of the most unique voices that the genre has ever known. Maybe he's not the most technically agile rapper in the game, Hell, maybe he doesn't even RAP about half the time. And maybe his command of the English language is imperfect (at BEST). But ODB's drunken, slurred ramblings make for an eternally entertaining listen, one that I still have yet to tire of all these years later.
This album is a stumbling walk through the deranged mind of a brilliant crackhead, spitting his thoughts at random passers-by with equal parts knowledge, humor, sadism, and confusion. I love this album.