Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
Sometimes life just wears you out. Doing the same thing every day begins to wear on you, even if you love what you do there are times when you sleep walk through life. Nothing is void of monotony and a lot of times the best way to break up the monotony of life is a change. A change in schedule, a break, changes in scenery, basically something different from what you do every day that can get you re-energized and get you excited about life again. With “Wake Up” that’s what Swoope did. For CHH things started to get a little monotonous, and a lot of the music started to sound the same. “Wake Up” is a break in the monotony, it’s different than anything else out; simply, it’s a breath of fresh air.
That coupled with three other reasons is why “Wake Up” is the best record in 2012 thus far:
1.) Creativity: One word comes to mind when I think of Swoope, creativity. All rappers are creative, but Swoope takes it to another level. “Wake Up” is a manifestation of his creativity. This record completely shatters the mold of the typical CHH album. The perfect example of that is in the use of the concept. Swoope took the idea of “waking up” and integrated it throughout the entire record. Sometimes it was obvious and sometimes it was a subtle undertone in a song but the concept was never lost. He also used preludes and interludes in a fashion not often used in CHH. The purpose of them seemed two-fold; one was to provide a clean ending and second was to give a beautiful transition into the next track. Swoope did this brilliantly throughout the record. It made for consistency and a different feel. It didn’t feel like a normal album, it felt almost like a movie.”Wake Up” was like one song with multiple scenes.
2.) Musicality: Production is much more than a tight beat and a smooth melody. The production of an album should do more than just nod your head. It should take you from where you are and put you in the song. That is exactly what Swoope did on “Wake Up”. The difference in Swoope’s musicality on this record is that he did all of this and more. He had me captivated from the first second of the opening track and kept me throughout the entire record. This album was an experience. It transcended music; I felt this record.
Swoope was very clever with his production. The production matched the idea of the album, and each individual song. From the “Ideality Prelude” with its soft keys and the person in the background snoring, you can tell this is different. But it doesn’t stop there, “Ideality” continues with a soft melody and Swoope continuing to tell us to “wake up homie”. He even ends that track with the same person in the background snoring, but this time there is an alarm going off to wake him up. “Fantasy” comes in with production that not only makes you nod your head, but it just makes you feel good (as fantasies should). It was this type of attention to detail and care for each track that was a breath of fresh air.
3.) Lyricism: A lot of times lyrics get forgotten. As long as a person likes the beat the artist can pretty much say whatever they want. This is another place where Swoope completely shatters listener expectations. Swoope is a great lyricist. And he used “Wake Up” to show that off to everyone. There were times throughout this record where he left me speechless. “Mirage” is a good example of this:
Illusion, this is the genesis of our nemesis/slick spirited lyricist
killin’ it with the sentences/Delusion, that there is unlimited benefits
fun, illicit privileges/ joinin’ in with the membership of lies
hostages, entrapment is our happiness/ with blindfolds over our eyes
ostriches with quackers in the plaster/ is disaster in a nice disguise
This is just one example of how Swoope took my breath away with clever wordplay and witty lyricism. This kind of skill ran rampant throughout the entire record, and it shows the importance of great lyricism to a record. Without this skill the listener would be left wanting more. Swoope used his lyrics to paint scenes in the beautiful movie that is “Wake Up”.
“Wake Up” is the alarm clock for all of CHH to do just that…wake up.