We live in a world where celebrity occupations are blurred. A person may enter the industry as one entity, but will end his or her career as another. Take Jennifer Lopez for example, she began her career as a dancer for In Living Color and since then has become a pop star, started an actor career, created her on clothing brand and started a line of perfume. These alternative accomplishments did not spur from talent, but from a passion: either to achieve these goals or for monetary purposes. Since then, this has spurred an explosion of “jack-of-all-trades” celebrities and artist. In hip-hop, there’s been a growth of producer turned rappers penetrating the airwaves. Kanye West has been the most successful and credible figure in this current metamorphosis, but there has also been Pharrell and Dr. Dre. Bay Area producer turned rapper, Trackademicks, hopes to emulate these success stories with his new album, State of the Arts.
Trackademicks’ claim to fame is a remix he did for fellow Bay artist E-40. In his rendition of “Tell Me When To Go,” Trackademicks places an infectious voice loop over the hyphy beat, which can get stuck in your head if you let it. There are flashes of the same arrangement on album highlights: “Quit Yo Job” featuring Kid Sister and ”Get A Job.” The former is a feel good track about the dream of breaking the chains from your mundane job and taking a chance on doing something you really love. Hard-hitting disco beats speed all over the synthesizer colored pavement until the light changes yellow and the song decelerates into part two, “Get A Job.”
The two songs present the best and the worst of the album. Although the production is solid, the lyrics and the melody fail to stick. The overall theme of State of the Arts is of a motivational album, where there are self-help pieces (“D.I.Y.”) and mantras sprinkled about (“Get A Job”). With all of the positive words being thrown about rarely anything sticks. Trackademicks’ delivery lacks any emotion, which is needed when trying to tell other that they can succeed.
The mantra idea carries on to most of the hooks in State of the Arts. The idea seems to be if a chorus or title of a song is repeated often enough then it becomes catchy, but in the end it becomes irritating hearing “quit your job” over 65 times in less than five minutes. Trackademicks’ skill behind the keyboard saves the album from becoming disastrous dud, and creates even more of a reason not to quit his day job.