The Death of Adam

The Death of Adam

This time I chose to review 2008’s “The Death of Adam”, a studio album by producer/rapper 88-Keys. Keys has produced records for numerous artists including Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Macy Gray, Musiq Soulchild and Consequence. The album, “The Death of Adam”, was executively produced by his close friend Kanye West. It also boast guest appearances by Kid Cudi, Redman, Bilal, Phonte of Little Brother, J*Davey and alternative rock group Shitake Monkey.

“The Death of Adam” is a concept album, the 12 tracks tell “the story of a man named Adam who has been murdered in a loft apartment in Harlem”. I found the album to be quite listenable despite a few sub-par songs here and there.

  • It starts out with the sing-songy but cheeky “Morning Wood“. One of my favorite tracks, it allowed 88 to display his singing ability and, in my opinion, served has the opening hook.

 

 

  • The next track, “Handcuff ‘Em“, is pleasantly all over the place, incorporating some familiar elements from “Nice Guys Finish Last“. The call & response chorus makes it somewhat of a party song but the doo wop-esque vocals in the background ground it with a Neo-Soul feel.

 

  • The most popular song, “Stay Up! (Viagra)“, is mostly dominated by Kanye West (his sole appearance on the album). Though it initially comes off as a Kanye West track Keys cleverly places the cherry on the top with the ending verse:

I heard that bitch hate men and/ she covers up her crotch/ But she love to show her girls like Sanaa Lathan/ And she throwing passes like Troy Aikman/ And she really into twisting facts like false statements/ He’s into twisting backs by throwing his weight in/ But she ain’t waiting for him to rise to the occasion/ He’s like “Be patient, this a contact sport./ So you can save your pep talk, give me that oral support/ And stay up

 

  • There’s Pleasure in It” is a forgettable melody that really only serves as an intro to the humorous but empathetic “(Awww Man) Round 2?” (an anthem for the sexually spent male who’s unable to give it a second go-around.)

 

  • The following song “Dirty Peaches“, in which 88-Keys is vocally absent (except for background ad libs), showcases the multi-genre Los Angeles duo J*DaVeY. A very syrupy lament of love and sex with a cautious message towards the end. The preëmptive tone of “Dirty Peaches”  is further driven home by “Close Call” (Featuring Phonte of Little Brother).

 

  • The mood is then lighten by the Curtis Mayfield influenced “Burning Bush” (Featuring Redman), another humorous song in which Redman displays traditional Funk Doc rhyme style.

 

  • The album then takes an alternative turn with “Mrs. Vanderbilt” (by Wings) sampling “Ho’ Is Short for Honey” (Featuring KiD CuDi). I’m kind of on the fence about this song, while I have an undying affinity for all things CuDi there is something about it that just doesn’t stick yet it still has a haunting charm.

 

  • No. I Said I LIKED You“, much like “There’s Pleasure in It“,  is an introduction to the soulful “M.I.L.F.” (Featuring Bilal) (Again 88-Keys is vocally absent). A harmonious take on the baby daddy’s P.O.V., it is one of my favorite songs on the album.

 

  • Everything is finally capped off by “Another Victim“. The mood of the song is aptly brooding and murky and is held together with a bluesy chorus that plays faintly throughout. Keys basically gives a vocal summary/conclusion of the album and the song poignantly ends with the narrative voice saying “The Death of Adam”.

Bravo Keys. Bravo.

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