Ah, synchronicity! This week I got some dope frame work done (big ups to my girl Liza Danger at Plasteel Frames), and no shit, not a day later in the mail did I receive—at long last—This Is It, the latest album from the MC known as Framework. Well, technically, on this album, it's just Frame, no work. I'd been eagerly anticipating hearing this record—Frame's debut, Hello World, is a Seatown classic (as I've written countless times here), considered by many to be the best 206 rap LP to yet come down the pike.
Unfortunately, This Is It is a bit of a step backward for a couple of reasons. The most glaring reason is the production: Provided entirely by Frame's in-house team Smash Brothers, it's industry keyboard beats that prove decent at best ("This Is It!") to redundant at worst (the diet "Dirt on Your Shoulders" of "Robin Hood").
The second reason is tougher. Frame is unquestionably hood with This—but on Hello, there was an emotional weight, a somber knowledge of the pitfalls of the lifestyle: freedom lost, families mourning, fallen soldiers. This time out, there's clearly more of a focus on the spoils of the life: the diamonds, the whips, and the ladies who love them. This mass- consumption-minded content, coupled with the production makes for Frame's most radio-ready material yet—but also some of the most disposable.
Don't get me wrong, though: There's plenty to get into on this album. For example, its opener "Emerald City" swings with a saxophone-laced knock and smooth vocals from Choklate; Frame is at his most lethal, spitting crime tales with a fierce, multi mangling delivery.
"Dead Prez" (a tribute to Hov's "Dead Presidents," not the RBG dudes), as well as the album's closer, "On the Black Top," which soulfully picks up where the last LP left off. Word is he's got some new material that's fantastic—sadly we won't hear it for a minute; one of Seattle's rawest is gone for a while. Hold ya head, Frame!
As for y'all: If you're looking for a show to see, on Thursday, July 31, at Chop Suey you can catch The Let Go (Type, Kublakai, and Midnite), Dawhud (who's releasing his Basement Sessions LP), Nam (who recently dropped the promising Exhale LP), Tacoma's mic technician Can-U, and Likeminded (Just Be, It's My Key, and Ced). The whole shebang is hosted by my man Luvva J, who among many other things (such as heading up Devastator Management, the good folks who sent me the Frame CD) hosts the legalized dope that is the Live from I-5 show on KAOS radio out of Olympia. If you're 'round those parts, y'all can tune in every Friday 'round 4:00 p.m. to hear me chop it up with J about Northwest and national releases. Oly heads, don't touch that dial! Unless you go to Evergreen, then some of y'all really might need to touch some Dial. Just kidding!