The Craft - Blackalicious
The Craft Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: The San Francisco rap duo of Gift of Gab (aka Timothy Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) return with a third album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. The magic in "The Craft" is that whether you're a student of the craft of hip-hop or not, you'll always enjoy the experience. The magic in "The Craft" is that it doesn't get stale with time - the beats and rhymes only get fresher and fresher.
  2. From the first track, The Craft replicates Blazing Arrow's assured, patchouli-scented combination of rock-solid songcraft and spacey experimentation.
  3. Is it possible that Gab and Xcel could have improved and surpassed Blazing Arrow's success? The Craft simply says yes.
  4. Sometimes the after school special feel of it takes its toll... But they win you back, because that's what underdogs do: they eventually win.
  5. 70
    The jury's still out on if such obvious nods to commerciality will fly with their diehard audience. [Sep 2005, p.104]
  6. Xcel’s production doesn’t stray very far from its R&B and soul influences, but this time it comes without almost any samples, relying sometimes on players from a homebrewed funk band to create clearance-free beats instead. Unfortunately, this new recipe doesn’t always hit the mark, and songs such as “Black Diamonds and Pearls” sound more like smooth jazz than What’s Going On-era Marvin Gaye.
  7. Mostly, what made Blackalicious’s last two proper albums so engaging was how Gab chose to reel in the tentacles of his glossolalia, and what makes The Craft such a disappointment is how he forgets that restraint, instead opting to crowd the tracks with ceaseless, pretentious sound.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. AlanR
    Oct 16, 2005
    10
    Because Blender has its finger on the pulse of creativity.
  2. cullenm
    Oct 24, 2005
    10
    kick ass
  3. manafa
    Dec 26, 2005
    10
    good shit
  4. Thur
    Sep 28, 2005
    9
    And again an amazing album from Blackalicious. Not as good as Blazing Arrow but what album is? It's not as experimental (no Chemical Calestenics) but is has everything what makes an album great: terrific MCing from Gab en wonderful soulful beats from Xcel. Expand
  5. AlbertM
    Sep 27, 2005
    8
    The aptly named rapper has honed his gift to a sharp, double edged musical sword. My Pen and Pad is an ear buffet of our favorite Blackalicious rhythms. What is missing here is the explosive creativity of Nia & Blazing Arrow. It feels like the paragraph president is on vacation. However, it clobbers other rap acts in the biz today. Expand
  6. davo
    Sep 26, 2005
    7
    Blazing Arrow is still one of my favorite albums and so I had high hopes for the follow up. Perhaps too high. There are a few great songs, World of Vibrations, Powers is fun also... there are cool moments for Gab and the Lateef cameo isn't wasted (like Gab's was on LB's CD). There's no Paragraph President, Alphabet Aerobics, etc. It's not out of the park but it has its moments. Expand
  7. SeanT
    Dec 11, 2005
    2
    huge letdown from blazing arrow