Le’Veon Bell has single-handedly set hip-hop back a full generation.
The star Pittsburgh Steeler – or rather, “Juice,” as he’d like to be called in the music world – dropped his lethargic attempt at a rap album, “Post Interview,” a little over a week ago, and the opus promptly soared to the top tier of the charts, but stats can prove to be treacherous. One excruciating listen will leave no doubt the project’s immediate success stems purely from the sideshow-esque intrigue in the running back’s move from the field to the studio, as all Bell does is engage in buffoonery over spastic hi-hats for the better part of an hour.
Those who spent their hard-earned scratch on this 16-track dud hoping Bell – I mean, Juice – would offer a glimpse of the makeup of a 25-year-old from central Ohio will instead be repeatedly force-fed the following gems via his somnolent flow: he has a lot of money, a lot of swag, and a lot of haters.
The album’s triumvirate of superficial lyrical tenets are largely delivered by way of equally nonsensical similes, and over the kind of trap beats even the bottom of Atlanta’s barrel would send to the shredder. Exhibit A: “Why You Mad,” where Bell drools out haymakers like, “I spit so much I need a bib,” and “I’m trying to make it rain like a weatherman.”
Weathermen don’t make it rain, you dummy.
Such humdingers and played out boasts continue to riddle “Post Interview,” most notably on “Truth.” It turns out, living with so much swag can be a cross to bear, as Bell needs a vacation, not from the hundreds of reps he gets every season, but from telling those who watch him play just how awesome his life is.
Of course, a man in Bell’s position is not without a few detractors, as the failed rapper readily tells whoever was duped into buying his album. But the poor saps needn’t fret, as the Pro Bowler insists his haters can’t finish him. He’s a “machine.”
Any hopes of recouping the 10 years you aged while writhing through PI’s first half will be obliterated in the second, as Bell miserably fails to keep his narcoleptic flow on beat after cohort Bizzoe provides a glimmer of hope on “Nominations,” and pledges allegiance to a lady that “feels like the ocean” – yes, the ocean – on “Make It Official” before taking on the sports world’s most notorious troll in Skip Bayless on the album’s closer. Bell finally snaps out of his 50-minute trance on “Shrimp Bayless,” only to halfheartedly commit to America’s favorite pastime of lambasting the much maligned pundit, instead declaring himself to be “hotter than Satan.” Way to shut down a naysayer, Hov.
One can only guess what DJ Kool Herc envisioned for hip-hop after laying its foundation during a house party in the south Bronx in the early 70s, but it probably didn’t include a delusional running back who makes Shaq sound like the second coming of Big Daddy Kane.
Hip-hop’s faithful may be inclined to suggest Bell stick to football, but since he’s a machine and, as a result, impervious to criticisms – however accurate – odds are he’ll keep dipping into a rapidly drying well of dumbed-down trap beats and spitting the same lifeless flow on the next project he’ll have whipped up in a few weeks.
So for Juice’s and the genre’s sake, let’s just leave this here.
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