Album Review- Travis Barker- Give the Drummer Some

So Travis Barker is well known as the rock and roll drummer for Blink 182 but he also has some serious love for hip-hop and ties to the community. In fact he might be the rock and roll equivalent of Bishop Magic Don Juan in some respects. Unlike Don Juan however, Barker does actually have a purpose and skills. So he is releasing a hip-hop feature laden album with a huge variety of artists, sort of like khaled but with different songs instead of just one long one.

I'm not quite sure what else Travis brings to the joints other than his drums and I would guess some A and R type skills with getting talent together to put the actual album together but it works out pretty well. The album starts with a title track featuring Rick Ross, The Game, Lil Wayne and Swizz Beats. Game's verse is average, Ross has flow andnd Wayne has the better of the three verses. "If You Want To" features Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell and is an extremely high energy track that will make it to the Rave set. "Carry it" is really a rock track that features the Rza, and Raekwon as well as Tom Morello. I'm never a fan of Rza verses so I'll take that with a grain of salt but Raekwon makes up for it.

Ludacris kills his feature on "Knockin" which also includes Snoop, E-40, and Dev on the hook. This is one song that also allows Travis to shine along with the rappers and not just feel like a gimmick. It just works really well on this song. I can't really say the same on "Jump Down" which features The Cool Kids. Although I love them and their sound, it isn't any sort of departure for them and while it's cool to hear how Travis can adapt the live drum and match the sounds with an artist's normal sound, it seems to be counterproductive. Not to say I don't like the song. "Devil's Got a Hold of Me" with Slaughterhouse has a mean drum intro from Barker and Joell's opening verse is a star, but Travis needed some type of chance to go off in the midst of the song. "Lets Go" with Twista, Lil Jon, Busta Rhymes, and Yelawolf sounds just like a natural collaboration but once again the drums are an afterthought in a sense and it's a shame because it's a good collaboration. I just wanted Travis to pull a little more out. I also can deal with "Raw Shit" which features Tech 9yne and Bun B.

"Just Chill" finds Bun B on a second track with singer Kobe and a surprising appearance from Beanie Sigel in  one of those 'introspective' tracks. the album ends with a Cypress Hill feature on "The Beat Goes On" which is alright but fans of the group won't be disappointed. "Saturday Night" featuring Transplants and Slash, yes that Slash, is also on the album but is such a 180 from the rest of the content you wonder how it fit in. Oh i know-it features Slash. Kid Cudi not surprisingly is the feature on the album's worst song, "Cool Head".

Overall this joint isn't bad at all. There are three or four songs that I have in rotation regularly but there isn't anything that is especially stellar or different that makes this a must listen to album. While I'm sure Travis handled some of the production, the fact that all of the tracks generally turn into songs that the artists featured on them would normally be on, there is no uniqueness or wow factor unless you just really want to hear actual drums on an album.

Rating: 3/5


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