Girl Talk recently teamed up with former Roc-A-Fella MC Freeway to release the Broken Ankles EP. The project was released free on DatPiff, and I was so hype to get to write my first review on a hip-hop project. I looked up to 2Pac, Biggie, Eazy-E, and the remaining Rap Gods, but they stared down from Thugz Mansion and didn’t see fit to have me review something as dope as Freeway’s earliest releases.
If you don’t remember, Freeway first burst onto the hip-hop scene with a featured verse on “1-900-Hustler” from Jay-Z’s monumental album The Dynasty. Since parting ways with Roc-A-Fella in 2007, Freeway’s work has been largely directionless. While Broken Ankles isn’t completely uninspired, it still finds Freezer an MC with nothing new to say.
The boisterous, in-your-face intro sets the hyped up tone of the album, but I kept wondering when Girl Talk was going to do Girl Talk. The answer is never. If you’re expecting souped-up pop samples for Freeway to spit on, then you’d be just as disenchanted as I was when the only recognizable sample is a single Notorious B.I.G. line used to comprise the hook on “I Can Hear Sweat.” Freeway juxtaposes the Biggie hook by trying to tap into 2Pac when he announces, “all eyes on me, all eyes on me.” Freeway concludes his attempted legendary East Coast/West Coast marriage by surmising that he thinks “they love me like Pac now.” While the historical hip-hop nod is nice, it just seems to be missing a point; much like the entire project.
This isn’t to say that the EP is a total failure. Whenever Girl Talk takes a back seat and allows Freeway to drive, hints of the old MC appear in soulful songs like “Tell Me Yeah.” The EP also has some great guest verses. Waka Flocka Flame makes the first track, “Tolerated,” tolerable, and Jadakiss was born to rhyme over “I Can Hear Sweat.” Unfortunately for Freeway, he raps in the shadow of his featured verses for the majority of the EP. He spits recycled similes and tired lines like: “Betty Crocker, got my cake up” and “I learned lessons went to summer school.” Baseless rhymes like this combined with the hit-and-miss beats make the EP perfect for a mindless jog or background music at a pregame everyone just left.
The EP is currently sporting a 4/5 rating on DatPiff (so hey, what do I know, right?), but the majority of the commenters agreed with me as we reminisced on the Freeway who proved he had honest, inspired flow and something to say in the early 2000s. If Girl Talk had simply done what Girl Talk has done in the past, then it would’ve allowed Freeway to spit over some sweet samples. I mean, that seems way more hip-hop than what Broken Ankles actually winds up being. Unfortunately, even if that were the way the record was spun, I’m still not sure Freezer has any new stories to tell.
GIRL TALK TOUR DATES:
Fri. April 11 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Fri. April 18 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Sun. May 4 – Tampa, FL @ Big Guava Festival
Thu. May 15 – Gulf Shores, AL @ Hangout Music Festival
Sat. May 17 – Atlanta, GA @ Centennial Olympic Park
Fri. May 23 – Sun. May 25 – Chillicothe, IL @ Summercamp
Fri. June 20 – Dover, DE @ Firefly Music Festival
Wed. June 25 – Sun. June 29 – Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest
Hailing from 'The Good Life City' of Albany, Georgia, Colby Pines is the middle child of five boys. While his family is primarily comprised of men, the Pines family did have a female dog once... unfortunately she died... God bless his poor mother. When Mr. Pines was in third grade the doctors discovered that he had an extra bone in his knee. The bone did not possess any magical powers or help Colby run faster/jump higher, so the doctors surgically removed the bone and refused to let Colby keep it as a souvenir. Colby recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in having cool friends and wearing great sweaters. Colby studied abroad at Oxford University's Trinity College where he was able to visit three of the four coasts, but was not able to bring back a baby with a British accent. Colby enjoys going to the movies, scotch, traveling, playing folk music with his band, BirdHead, eating good and bad food, writing, dabbling, playing Fantasy Football with his Pigskinz and Sundee Beerz League, reading a great book, and all sorts of music. While Colby has a bit of a bipolar taste in music, some of his favorite bands include: Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie, 2pac, Washed Out, Johnny Cash, Childish Gambino, Local Natives, The Beatles, Danny Brown, and Beach House. Colby is currently single and quite possibly ready to mingle. Colby has broken five bones, saved two children from drowning, been to Canada twice, and almost fallen into The Grand Canyon once. While he tends to miss things like Breaking Bad, eighth grade, Hey Arnold!, and Surge soda, Colby's excited for the future where he hopes to continue writing and doing the things that he loves.