Review: The Gift of Gab

The Gift of Gab
“4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up”

The Gift of Gab is defending the patch of hip-hop territory that he has carved out with Blackalicious. His solo effort lands in the exact same area as 2001’s hip-hop masterpiece “Blazing Arrow.” Gab has been trying to clear the muddy waters of mainstream hip-hop for quite awhile with nostalgic beats and a ticking-motor flow the hip-hop fans who are tired of what the mainstream floats in their faces. Anyone who likes Blackalicious will feel at home with Gab’s Rocketships and anyone just being introduced to Gab will also feel welcome.

The only thing I would like to see from Gab is a little growth. He knows what he is doing and he does it well, but if there is a second solo release let the feelers out a little more and try out some different dimensions. Gab needs to step away from Blackalicious. I understand the resistance as Blackalicious has made him who he is and “Blazing Arrow” is one of the best hip-hop albums ever made, but he could give the arrow a good run if he took his hip-hop in another direction.

“The Ride of Your Life” is a solid opener straddling the fence between new-age with harps floating everywhere and solid hip-hop with Gab throwing out his signature flow. “The Writz” has Gab dancing over a jazzy piano line that curls around his lyrics like cigarette smoke in a dark club with red lights. Rocketships is solid from start to finish and delivers what his fans are expecting, but it isn’t testing their ears.

Let the flow go even further Gab. Keep the nostalgia in your songs, but push it harder. Put another album out soon. This will hold me over until then, but I’m expecting a little more than another faux Blackalicious album.