Rapper Cam Groves’ sophomore album is everything its audience — other weed-puffin’, white hip hop kids — wants. The writing’s sharp and funny and the beats are bright and accessible, with plenty of witty sonic asides.
Like label-mate Spose, who guests here, Groves can be self-deprecating, but he clearly knows he’s got skills. The 11 tracks on Grovenistic are all well executed. As he boasts on the intro, “on my second LP and, shit, I’m making beats now.” A variety of other producers (Nikolia Prange, Johnny Juliano, and Leon Samson among them) also shaped these tracks, and DJ Jon mastered and mixed almost all of them.
The party anthems (“Crack Hat Music,” “What Now”) mingle with the story songs. Among the latter, “Ex Games,” with a fine hook sung by Kristina Kentigian, is particularly well written. “So Damn Good,” featuring Spose on the chorus, has great lines like, “You smell like a French word I can’t even pronounce,” and “Damn, girl, you smell so amazing / I’d consider tasting the water that you bathed in.”
“I Got Rhymes,” the other Spose collaboration, is a lot of fun, and the laid back “Good Time,” with Thommy Kane (formerly Poverty) on the hook, hits the mark.
The last track, “Diamond In The Rough,” comes close to being sentimental. It’s a smart-ass yet heartfelt tale about crushing on fast-food workers who are significantly older than our tender yet horny narrator. “Big Mac grippin’ / watching you perform / Ass in black slacks / looking good up in that uniform / Name tag on so I don’t have to ask you / I called you Ashley, you froze like a statue.”
Groves can annoy and grate in places, but ultimately you like the guy.
Grovenistic will put a smile on your face and a bob in your neck. Ah, to be 22 and baked again…
— Chris Busby
Cam Groves’ Web site is camgroves.com.