Let’s discuss any and all music here. Got a new artist who’s rocking your boat that you want to talk about? Post a video! Found out about that unearthed Coltrane album that has the jazz freak in you losing your mind? Lay it out for us! Have a theory about what your favorite band might do for their next album? Let’s hear it! Anything and everything music-related goes here.
This week’s discussion prompt: Posthumous Releases. Are they really fan service, or just cash-grabs? Obviously, it goes both ways. Some of it is just repackaged garbage, other artists left behind a real treasury of unreleased music. Where do you stand? What releases have exceeded expectations? Which releases have left you unsatisfied?
When Ol’ Dirty Bastard passed away unexpectedly on November 13, 2004 (two days before what would have been his 36th birthday) he was getting his career back on track following a stint in prison and in the process of recording an album for Roc-A-Fella Records. The following year the album (given the title A Son Unique) was finished and set to be released in August 2005 but was subject to numerous delays, getting pushed back to November 2006 when it was made available to iTunes on the day of its intended release, though no physical release materialized. An intended November 2009 release was also delayed; after this, ODB was posthumously dropped from his label, and as of 2020 it has yet to receive any kind of physical release (though some promo copies are in circulation).
However, in spite of sounding like little more than an obvious attempt at a cash grab – and there have been any number of low-quality releases with Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s name on them since his passing (and even during the time he was very much still alive and incarcerated), A Son Unique is a very good album. The music and beats are solid; the RZA produces four tracks, and additional producers include DJ Premier, Mark Ronson, The Neptunes, Rockwilder, Damon Elliott, Dame Grease and Soul Diggaz. Missy Elliott, Clipse, Pharrell, Ghostface Killah, Macy Gray, Raekwon and Method Man are among the contributors, and none of the performances they give sound like cast-offs or in any way perfunctory. But most importantly, ODB was in fine form here, both with his delivery and rhymes. While not reaching the dizzying heights of his debut or anywhere near as crazed-yet-compelling as the follow-up, A Son Unique seems to have been carefully (and respectfully) completed, and is a worthy addition to ODB’s discography.
As always, any and all music-related topics are welcome. Have fun, and rock out with yr guac out!
(NB: This week’s discussion prompt comes from old A.V. Club commenter Freddie Jerkury, who posted the very same prompt on a music discussion at a now-defunct Disqus site. Hope you’re doing well, Freddie!)