Inventive Name For My "The Graduate" Review :),
This review is from: The Graduate (Audio CD)
MC Lars, The Graduate
4.64 stars out of 5
In general, the album consists of inventive, often-funny, lyrical ideas.
Though I like a lot of Lars' material, this is the album that initially introduced me to him, and remains one of my favorites of his.
"Download this Song", "Hot Topic is Not Punk Rock", "Generic Crunk Rap" and "Signing Emo" all brilliantly take aim at the mainstream music industry that Lars is decidedly not part of. [This stems in part from the DIY component of his punk-rock influences; musically-speaking, Lars effectively blends this with various other genres.] However, Lars is still upbeat and positive, rather than morosely tearing into The Industry, sometihng some indies seem to have a habit of doing too much of as far as I'm concerned.
"iGeneration" is an anthem with a large club beat to match the scale.
Its new-generation lyrical theme (and the heavy Internet-media component thereof) somewhat connects it to "Download this Song".
"Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock" effectively raises the common worry of rebel/outsider imagery being appropriated without bringing the core attitude along, as well as posers more generally.
"Generic Crunk Rap" bemoans the sorry state of a lot of mainstream rap - not just a plug for smart indie rappers such as himself, but also a tribute to great classic MCs. (Grandmaster Flash, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Rakim, Chuck D and De La Soul are specifically named here, but Lars has mentioned other genre favorites elsewhere.)
"21 Concepts" has Lars rapping out his bad unfinished song ideas over the Tetris theme music. I mean, come on, that's geek-classic. Some of the mentioned ideas at least made it to the stage of the "21 Concepts" b-sides compilation, and work fairly well there, some never appeared at all.
"Roommate from Hell" - drops a lot of Satan references to explain how bad his new dorm-mate is. mc chris cameos as the title character. Funny concept executed very well.
"Ahab" has Lars channeling his English degree in order to rap about Moby Dick. "If I Had a Time Machine, That Would Be Fresh", "Internet Relationships (Are Not Real Relationships)", "Space Game" are also wonderful celebrations of geeky culture topics
"The Dialogue" (with Ill Bill) is an effective integration of comments on their musical influence with some comment on general sociopolitical themes. Respect, y'all, both where you came from and where they come from.
"Rapgirl", one of the slower pieces, is apparently a reference to Kristine Flaherty (K. Flay). [the 'Suburban Rap Queen' lyric refers to Flay's title.] evidently a former romantic partner (who to this day is still a friend and business/artistic collaborator. Love how he disclaims his disclaimer in the intro, by the way.
"Six Degrees Of Kurt Cobain" is my only 'meh' for the album, but hey, thirteen out of fourteen ain't bad.