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12Apr/110

Travis Barker – Give The Drummer Some

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Blink 182's drummer Travis Barker has always had a soft spot for playing hip-hop, he has appeared as a guest for countless hip-hop records, remixes and live appearances and influences of the genre can be heard in most of his work, most notably The Transplants, and even at times, in the later works Blink 182, although more toned down. For his debut solo record, there is no toning down as every track is straight hip-hop featuring some of the biggest rappers of today.

Travis Barker is a very talented sticks-man, he is one of the best drummers of his generation and love or hate his genre of choice, you have to be excited about hearing him drum. He has managed to make his beats a feature on this record without them overpowering or taking away from the songs. As far as the beats themselves, they are some of the most well thought out and exciting the genre has seen, rarely will someone put as much effort into the construction of beats on a hip-hop record as Barker clearly has here, after all, he is in his element.

The album begins with "Can A Drummer Get Some", featuring Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Swizz Beats and The Game, clearly Barker is not afraid to show that he has some big name friends. The track uses sparse percussion with heavy guitars setting a groove early on that turns into a Latin influenced club track called "If You Want To", which features Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell.

Tom Morello lays down his cool trademark guitar sounds as the beat gets heavier for "Carry It", featuring Wu Tang Clan members RZA and Raekwon. A melodic and catchy female vocal hook opens up "Knockin'", a production highlight featuring Snoop Dogg and Ludacris (who apparently still raps) while Barker lays down a complicated percussion based beat before the single "Jump Down". An attempt at old school hip-hop which is a little boring and an interesting choice for the first single as it features the little known Cool Kids, kind of strange considering the hip-hop royalty that appears on other tracks.

The standout of the record is "Let's Go", thanks to the super fast rhyming talents of Busta Rhymes, Twista and Eminem's new protégé Yelawolf, only let down slightly by the stupidly annoying yelling of Lil Jon.

The least hip-hop moment comes in the form of the tune "Saturday Night", which features The Transplants and Slash for a cruisy, electronic beat backed number that is another one to skip. The record ends on one more guitar driven track with plenty of cowbell, "Beat Goes On" featuring a driving stomp and the lyrical back and forth of Cypress Hill as well as a hidden track of various drum loops mixed in with vocal samples of Barker's children.

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