Hip-Hop artist from Chicago just doing what I love to do best. Making Music! Hip-Hop is not about color, it's about experience. I am a man of many traits but writing music and making beats has come more naturally than anything else. I'm just here to share my experiences and visionary art with anyone who is willing to listen. My music talks about a real experience and pain. An experience that everyone can relate to. I poured my heart and soul into my album and its something that I want to share with the world. I hope everyone enjoys what I have to offer and know that this is just the beginning.
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In the brief publicity bio that he wrote for his FrankRight.com website, Chicago-based rapper Frank Right declares: “Hip-hop is not about color. It’s about experience.” Very true. Hip-hop is about experience and skills, and skillful rappers come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Right is not black, and that should not be a factor when one is evaluating his work. On his album, Said I Couldn't Do It, the Midwesterner shows himself to be a skillful and talented MC. And Right puts those skills to good use, offering a fair amount of variety and delivering one of the more unpredictable hip-hop releases of early 2013.
Much of the time, Right can be considered hardcore rap. “On Top of the World,” the edgy “Life,” the sociopolitical “Liberty,” the angry “Like Me” and the title song certainly fall into the hardcore rap category. Whether he is addressing social and political issues, describing his angst in vivid detail (which is what he does on “Countdown”) or attacking sucker MCs (a time-honored tradition in hip-hop), Right is quite capable of providing hardcore rap and often does so on Said I Couldn't Do It. However, this 27-minute album also has its commercial moments and its crossover moments.
“Drop,” for example, is straight-up party music and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. That danceable groove favors the type of hedonistic, sexually charged lyrics that the crunk rappers of the Dirty South are known for, but melodically and rhythmically, “Drop” is far from crunk. The tune has a synthesizer-powered groove that is techno-ish and quite European-sounding; “Drop” is an infectious blend of hip-hop and European dance music, and it would work well as a single (especially in Europe). Club deejays should give “Drop” a close listen.
But while “Drop” is fun and frivolous lyrically, “Liberty” is the exact opposite. On that riveting selection, Right talks about poverty, war, police brutality, homelessness, prostitution and sexual abuse. Right covers a lot of social and political ground on “Liberty,” and he does so within the course of only about three minutes and seven seconds. “Liberty,” in fact, recalls a time in which hardcore rappers like Public Enemy, KRS-1, Ice-T, Paris, 2 Black 2 Strong, Melle Mel and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five were heavily sociopolitical. Unfortunately, sociopolitical rap isn’t as plentiful as it once was (the 1980s and early 1990s were the peak years for sociopolitical rap), but as “Liberty” demonstrates, some MCs are still addressing social and political issues and are quite good at it. “Liberty” is easily the best song on Said I Couldn't Do It and makes one hope that Right will move more in that sociopolitical direction in the future. Major labels are not pushing sociopolitical rap these days, and the more that independent rappers like Right help to fill that void, the better.
Next to “Liberty,” the most compelling tune on this album is the darkly introspective “Countdown.” On that track, Right takes a close and honest look at his demons and his describes his struggles in a blunt, unapologetically candid fashion. In contrast to the fun party-time escapism that characterizes “Drop,” both “Liberty” and “Countdown” make it clear that Right is quite capable of depth and substance.
“Thinking About You” finds Right rapping over a folk-rock type of groove, and it sounds a bit like something Everlast would come up with. The fact that Right incorporates European dance-pop on one selection (“Drop”) and folk-rock on another demonstrates that the Chicagoan has diverse tastes, which is a plus. Right’s diversity serves him fairly well on this album.
Always decent at the very least and occasionally outright excellent, Said I Couldn't Do It indicates that Right is someone to keep an eye on.
Said I Couldn't Do It
Review by Alex Henderson
3.5 stars out of 5
Frank Right is one of those individuals who wants to make his living from music, but would probably do it even if he never got paid. Right writes his own songs and creates his own beats, born of some innate drive that practically requires him to do so. On his debut album, Said I Couldn’t Do It, Right documents his own deeply personal experiences in life, love, and the rises and falls that characterize those two great adventures. Frank Right reminds us that Hip-Hop (and music, in general), isn’t about color or ethnicity, but experience and desire. It’s a lesson that comes through loud and clear.
Right kicks things off with “Thinking About You”, documenting a long term relationship that eventually fell apart. Right’s lyrics are introspective and real, driven by a deep-seated pain, but also by a philosophical grace that comes with time and understanding. Karen Alice provides the perfect counterpoint with her vibrant vocals on the chorus. “Liberty” tackles people’s willingness to remain blind to the darker aspects of humanity. Racism isn’t so much defined by specific acts here, but by people’s willingness to turn a blind eye to the daily injustices that don’t directly affect them. Right is politically on point here, and tells the tale in vibrant rhyme. “On Top Of The World” is a celebration of life turning out the way he might have hoped. The song works, but is a bit muddled by the difference between message and tone. There’s a darkness here that’s built of monotony and melancholy. This mix just doesn’t blend well with overtly positive message of the song.
“Drop” is ready for the dance clubs right now, and could be a breakout hit for Frank Right. This is one of those numbers that just needs the right break to break big. “Said I Couldn’t Do It” is a quietly celebratory number about seizing your opportunities and making the most of them. Rather than rolling on anger and vitriol, Right is good natured about those who doubt his chances. It’s a nice change of pace for the hip-hop genre. “Life” finds the anger that didn’t make it into “Said I Couldn’t Do It”. One gets the sense its personal this time around. The reality of the lyrical slip is admirable, but the energy here is a bit flat. “Like Me” explores the emotional emptiness that follows the breakdown of a relationship, meted out in casual relations and self-destructive relationship tendencies. Once again, Right gets points for reality, and he manages to let it all flow with a poetic finesse that is surprising.
Frank Right closes with “Countdown”, an urgent and searching number about hitting the brink. Right is edgy and poetic here, as he explores the costs of life on the streets and the violence that often goes with it.
Frank Right isn’t your typical rapper. Right drops deep insight and understanding into songs that explore the life of modern urban America. Stereotypes are left at the door, as Right tells stories from the perspective of real people with real problems. His rhymes and rhythms are fresh and original, and Right himself at times transcends his style and genre into that rarified place we call art.
Artist: Frank Right
Title: Said I Couldn’t Do It
Review by: Wildy Haskell
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Most rap music fans take the craft for granted these days, but not everyone can string words together in a way that shows lyrical dexterity, not to mention the ability to recite those words to a beat and keep time with the rhythm. Even if an emcee has those skills down pat, they usually rely on someone else to supply the instrumental that will breathe new life into their words. Chicago-based artist Frank Right is in the fortunate position of being a producer as well as a rapper, allowing him to create a singular vision to combine words and music to his liking. His latest release Said I Couldn’t Do It is an eight-track mini-album that serves as a primer for Frank’s skills behind the mixing boards as well as on the microphone.
“Thinking About You” opens the album with the unexpected Western twang of guitars and guest vocalist Karen Alice’s lamenting tones on the hook. As Frank poetically reminisces about a relationship and how things dissolved, bass pulses land like unshakeable heartbreak while intricate percussion clicks and taps sweeten the backing track. This is Frank as his most vulnerable and you can feel the pain in his words as he comes to the realization of what he had now that it’s gone. “Liberty” follows with a scathing critique of American society and the bondage that many find themselves in while living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Frank crafts an instrumental that’s downright dystopian, full of sinister chords and acidic synth lines. His verses are dense with bleak snapshots of life, touching upon everything from rape and police brutality to economic disparities and the poor treatment of war veterans once home on American soil.
“On Top Of The World” is the aural equivalent of a victory lap as Frank gets into lyrical grind mode, encouraging himself with verses of determination coupled with braggadocio. You can almost envision him in the recording booth with both fists raised in the air in defiance. He keeps the production simple, sustaining the triumphant bass notes while an elastic keyboard riff runs circles around itself. “Drop” turns towards the dance floor with an incessant techno thump, digital claps, and hi-energy electronic buzzes. Frank repeats the phrase “We ain’t gonna stop till them panties drop,” leaving no questions as to what his end game is.
“Drop” acts as the dividing line for this album, separating poignant pieces like “Thinking About You” from more vindictive fare. The title track “Said I Couldn’t Do It” fires off verbal shots at the haters over a basic piano riff that serves as a cautionary musical cue. As a lone violin creeps into the track, the result is both minimal and menacing, conjuring up images of someone you wouldn’t want to meet in a back alleyway. One of Frank’s adlibs sums up the gist of the song perfectly: “I ain’t a gangster, but I damn sure ain’t no punk.” It’s a sentiment that spills over into the subject matter of “Life” and “Like Me,” two songs that may as well be each of Frank’s middle fingers, flipping the bird in the direction of anyone who ever doubted his abilities.
With so much vitriol flying about, the troubled first-person perspective of “Countdown” may come as a surprise. As warbling bass tones and thick swaths of synthesizer sheen build up tension, Frank owns up to his past sins and regrets in the face of death before a single gunshot brings the album to an abrupt and shocking close. Frank Right proves that he is able to deliver the full package lyrically and musically with this release, establishing himself as a viable asset to the Windy City’s hip-hop scene.
Artist: Frank Right
Album: Said I Couldn’t Do It
Reviewed by Jason Randall Smith
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)