September 14, 2005

CD Review: Judge D - No Compromize

The latest hip hop/rock hybrid to hit the shelves is Judge D. He is set to unleash his sophomore album, No Compromize. I'd never heard of him before, but I do like what I have heard so far.

On first listen, I detected hints of Kid Rock, the Insane Clown Posse, and Eminem. I know, I'm probably the only one to here them in there, and it is probably the only way you'd get that trio together at the same time! Anyway, I don't know where Judge D is from, but there is a distinctive Detroit sound to be had.

I've listened to the album a few times now, each time it seems to get a little better. It's not a great album, by any stretch, but there is something about it that is refreshing. It doesn't seem to me that he is using the the rap/rock style as a gimmick, it seems to fit the persona he is putting forth. It leans far more to the hip hop side, but that's OK, he isn't compromising his music to satiate the two sides.

The album opens strong with the title track "No Compromize." It is a good opener, solid, driving, and it has a hook that digs itself into your brain and refuses to let go. That brain lock holds on through the next few tracks. You know, this is no masterpiece, but it is hard to think of a weak song in the bunch. Other standout tracks include "Rollcall," "I Don't Wanna Die," and "Ceasefire." Strong all the way through.

I think the thing that may be most impressive is the content. There aren't any vulgarities for the sake of having them, no gratuitous violence or sexually charged rhymes. There are political points, social commentary, and it generally has a sense of purpose to it. More so than trying to perpetuate the cycle of violence that has afflicted so many parts of the country, and the world. It is the work of someone with vision, someone who wants to use his music for something more.

Besides the commentary, the music has a good rough beat that sounds good when turned up in the car. You know those kinds of albums, the ones you put in the CD player, turn up the volume, role down the windows, and just hit the road. Yeah, it's that kind of album.

Bottomline. I wasn't sure what I was going to get when I got this, and was surprised to find something that was well worth my time. A hard edged hybrid that backs itself up with the content, and a good sound. Not great, but what knows what the future holds for Judge D.



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