Consequence

Don't Quit Your Day Job

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It is no coincidence that Consequence is signed to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music. Not only does the latter appear twice on Don't Quit Your Day Job, Kanye also hosted the Queens rapper's mixtape Take 'Em to the Cleaners and invited him to appear on his own album, The College Dropout. All this friendly cooperation is probably helped by the fact that both MCs share a love for clean, mellow, soul-sample-based production, have strikingly similar delivery styles -- often rhyming words with themselves in a voice that's closer to speaking than rapping -- and choose to write about similar topics. But Consequence isn't some neophyte MC who West has taken on as a protégé. He made his debut in 1996 on A Tribe Called Quest's record Beats, Rhymes and Life, and, while his career since then has not been overly active, he has kept a hand in music the entire time. But perhaps because it took him more than a decade since that appearance, Quence chose to approach his first actual solo album from the perspective of a kid just starting out in the game. He begins Don't Quit Your Day Job with a song/skit about being behind on bills and having to put his "pride to the side/Go get a 9 to 5" and ends it with deciding to focus all his time and energy on music instead (having to deal with a nagging mother throughout). The rest of the record moves from tracks about trying to make it big, or at least make it ("Don't Forget Em") to women ("Feel This Way") to general observations on life ("The Good, the Bad, the Ugly"). It's all very relatable; Consequence isn't trying to present himself as anything more than just a regular guy, in the same way Kanye has, and it's apparent. This means that even in songs like "Pretty Little Sexy Mama," where he uses fairy tale imagery throughout ("I make a damsel-in-distress dismantle her dress/And once you meet me past the guards I can handle the rest/I got a plan for the stress in these evil times/So I keep on body armor like it's Medieval Times"), it seems natural and real, the MC's slightly lisped voice ably keeping time and cadence well. In fact, it's in pieces like "Night Night," in which he warns he'll fight if he needs to, that things come across a little forced. It's as if he feels he has to prove his street cred when his talent -- part old-school, part backpacker -- is imposing enough, appealing in its intelligence and uniqueness; he doesn't have to slip into stereotypes to show he's a real rapper, he can let his rhymes speak for themselves.

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