Gonzales

Presidential Suite

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As a white rapper, Gonzales is less like Eminem and more like MC Paul Barman, which is to say that this Canadian-born cutup and his frequent duet partner, Peaches, are less concerned with being the next hip-hop chart-toppers than with making the genre fun again. And as long as you don't take it too seriously or expect too much artistic depth, his third full-length LP does just that. Chilly G may not be the freshest MC ever to rock the mike, but lighthearted songs like "So Called Party Over There" and "Salieri Serenade" match lo-fi drum machine beats with nerdy rhymes to great effect. But it's in his role as a producer on collaborations with labelmates Feist, Louis Austen, and (of course) Peaches that Gonzales shines brightest, coming off like some sort of mad, retro synth-loving scientist toiling in his lab to concoct freaky backing tracks that could give the Neptunes a run for their money. Now, if only he could refine those mike skills....

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