Whatever happened to Blink 182? Following their mainstream success during the dawn of the new millennium the punk pop band quietly faded away from the spotlight after their last album together, Blink-182. To everyone who wasn’t a hardcore Blink fan, front men Mark Hoppus and Tom Delonge fell off the face of the earth while drummer Travis Barker remained relevant in music and in popular culture. Since the trio parted ways in 2005, Barker has been busy doing everything from running clothing companies and fish taco restaurants to starring in reality TV shows and surviving plane crashes, all while still making music. His latest venture comes in the form of a Hip Hop/Rock album called Give The Drummer Some. Throughout the years Barker has gained growing acceptance in the hip hop community as a fan and frequent collaborator with artists such as The Game, Bun B, and Lil Wayne. So it’s no surprise that Give The Drummer Some features appearances by an abundance of all-star MCs. From the east coast to the west coast, the rookies to the veterans, it seems like everyone and their mother is on this album. Snoop Dogg, Kid Cudi, Rick Ross, Yelawolf, Lupe Fiasco, Ludacris, Raekwon and Pharrell all drop bars on Give The Drummer Some, and those are less than half of the artists featured on the project. It’s hard to go wrong with a lineup of that caliber, but with a few exceptions Travis Barker manages to do so.
As expected a lot of the beats are rock and roll oriented and contain dope drum patterns. However, aside from the drums, a lot of the production sounds the same and lacks originality, therefore the album sounds somewhat repetitive. Speaking of repetition, Swizz Beatz drops the hook on the albums first single “Can A Drummer Get Some”. He does so in typical Swizz Beatz fashion, repeatedly yelling the same thing over and over. While that style might work on more traditional hip hop records, on “Can A Drummer Get Some” it just sounds annoying and distracts listeners from Travis tearing apart the drum kit. A sub par verse from Wayne doesn’t help either, however The Game and Ross make up for it by holding it down on the first and last verses of the song. “Lets Go” is a track with a similar structure to “Can A Drummer Get Some”. Busta Rhymes, Yelawolf, and Twista spit thunderous bars lightning quick, all of which sound great over Barker on the drums. However, there is a Lil John sighting on the chorus. The King of Crunk does the same thing Swizz Beatz does to “Give The Drummer Some”, practically ruining it by shouting the title of the song over and over. It’s a poor excuse for a hook. Al though it is quite comical hearing Lil John screaming at the top of his lungs in between some of the best verses on the album.
On the other hand, Barker deserves major props for the song “Carry It”. “Carry It” is a stellar blend of hip-hop and rock and roll. Wu-Tang Killa Bees Raekwon and The RZA deliver solid verses over more quality drumming from Travis and an immaculate guitar solo from Legendary guitarist Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine. “If You Want To” is a decent track that features a funky beat and vintage Food & Liquor flow from Lupe Fiasco. Without Lupe lyrically saving the day on this one, this track wouldn’t be worth mentioning. Arguably his best bars of the song are his first as he spits, “Your minds all a flutter no pigs on the gig no swine for the supper/no wine in the cupboard everything of mine must show shines of the suffer/and keep you oppressed to the other struggle/to keep it all fresh like tupper/One of the tougher ginger bread men out the cutter/Skin ant Huck Finn but I ant nigger Jim muthaf*cka”.
Overall, Give The Drummer Some had potential to be a much stronger album than what it came out to be. Travis Barker deserves credit for trying to try new things in his career and coming up with the concept of this album. It was a good idea, but the final product simply does not do it justice. Perhaps Travis should just let other people handle the production side of things and he can handle the percussion side of things. Sometimes it’s better to just stick to what you know best.
2.5 Out Of 5 Mics