To most listeners, 88 Keys' The Death of Adam (Decon) will most likely touch a nerve. In a word, the Harlem rapper's modern resurrection of the Biblical fall from grace comes off as just a bit misogynous. Here's how. Adam's habitual case of peckerdom in the a.m. ("Morningwood") inspires him to wine and dine a fine young thing...only to find out she looks at him more like a big brother. Not finding the dreaded "Friends Zone" to his liking, Adam latches on to a sex-craved, man eater that's more to his liking. But! When young Adam suffers the tragic inability to keep up ("(Awww Man) Round 2?") with his newly minted nympho, he finds himself hastily poppin' performance enhancing pills ("Stay Up! (Viagra)"), contracting something down there ("The Burning Bush"), getting saddled with an unwanted pregnancy, and ultimately meeting his own, untimely demise. It's not a pretty picture...and guess whose fault it is?
Of course, if in the fact you're not bothered by any of this...if you find yourself able to look past the relentless rounds of obnoxious and arguably offensive material...if you, like 88 no doubt, see the honest to god humor in this cautionary tale, then there's a pretty good hip hop album to be had here. No doubt, 88 has been at this awhile. Not only is his hand in production spot on, but he's also the benefactor of the kind of marquee type relationships that are oh so necessary these days. First and foremost, the executive producer of The Death of Adam is none other than Kanye West. Not surprising, West takes a turn at the mic on the liquid-like "Stay Up! (Viagra)". On "The Friends Zone", 88 hits a more cross-over kind of vibe, enlisting the rambunctious tendencies of Shitake Monkey. And Redman joins the project, stepping in to help make "The Burning Bush" one of the best bangers on the album. - David Pitz