The Smoking Section (Masthead) Respect Our Fresh!

Honor Roll Rejects...

Words by K1NG

I was in my local Tower Records on Tuesday to see what was new (other than the music that was being pushed heavily by the majors) and instead of finding something that I had heard of, I found a very extravagant and enticing cover that caught my eye, and my interest - Gym Class Heroes’ album, As Cruel As School Children

When I got home, I downloaded the album and realized that it had just been released that day. The following tracks I heard completely deviated from mainstream mash-up formulas that sound like Linkin Park or Danger Mouse's The Grey Album.

Fortunately, this CD was a very refreshing compliment between rock and hip hop with a curious crew of two white boys seemingly fresh out of the OC and two black dudes resembling Smoke of Field Mob and Lenny Kravitz.

The way the music is laid out on the album is more hip hop than rock, but does include a rapper and a singer. Lead vocalist Travis McCoy raps on most of the album, but on some choruses and certain verses he uses an alternative rock type tone instead. This mix of the two diverse styles comes out as a beautiful musical combination.

The songs all have a point and direction that seem to be very up to date with popular culture. The first song on the album called "The Queen and I" is about a girl that he feels has a drinking problem. Other standout tracks include "Shoot Down The Stars", a song about their rise through Hollywood, and "New Friend Request", a most impressively up to date song about Myspace love, remixed by Papoose as a bonus track for iTunes (unfortunately, I can’t find the song anywhere, so if you have it don’t be scared to post it). The most outrageous song on the album is "Scandalous Scholastics". Based on a lustful relationship between Travis and one of his high school teachers, the song is full of quotable lines such as,

"She pulled my pants down to half mast
I said, 'Hurry Ms. Kim you gon’ make me late to math class.'”

The rest of the album is filled with other great songs with no obvious filler. Even the skits are very well made with Travis reciting lines about meeting a chick at the bar. There are three skits in the "Sloppy Love Jingle" series end it with a hilarious and surprising end.

If you are looking for something refreshingly new and interesting with a nice hip-hop feel, check Gym Class Heroes’ album As Cruel As School Children.

Have you set your bookmarks?

stray shots

DJ Skee & Nu Jerzey Devil - The Game: The Black Wall Street Journal Vol. 1

K-Solo - Tell the World My Name

Cee-Lo Green - ...Is the Soul Machine (2004)

Common Sense - Resurrection

Ras Kass - Soul On Ice

Miri Ben Ari - The Hip Hop Violinist

DJ Premier - Remixed By Premier

Guru - Jazzmatazz Street Soul

8.3 Stray Shots Downloadable Text File

8.3 Stray Shots Changelink Page

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