If what Ice T recently said about Soulja Boy is true--that "Soulja Boy single-handedly killed hip hop--the 17-year-old super boy has an opportunity to redeem himself, thanks to the latest installment of the Unwrapped hip hop series that makes jazz renditions of popular rap songs.
Ironically, just in time for the Ice T and Soulja Boy's primetime YouTube battle, Hidden Beach Recordings issued Unwrapped 5:0:The Collipark Café Sessions that includes easy listening versions of Souljah Boy's "Crank That," Hurricane Chris "A Bay Bay," T-Pain's "Shawty," and Snoop Dogg's "Sensual Seduction."
I've always had a way of compartmentalizing when listening to misogynistic, profane and just plain bad rap lyrics. If the song has something else to offer--a good flow, lyric pattern or irresistible track--I can easily dismiss the part that I don't like. And that's been my approach to the lyrical content of Souljah Boy and Hurricane Chris. Interestingly, the Unwrapped versions evoke a completely different vibe.
Imagine a jazz jam session version of "Crank That" minus the Superman lyrics? If you're pushing 40 and have lyrical standards, Unwrapped is the fix for the otherwise guilty pleasure.
The ironic timing of the release of the new Unwrapped installment and Ice T and Soulja Boy's feud made me wonder if the flack Soulja Boy and Hurricane Chris have been receiving from hip hop purists had anything to do with their music being the focus on the new set.
Hidden Beach Recordings President Steve McKeever says, "No." In fact, he told me that Mr. Collipark, who has produced for Soulja Boy, Hurricane Chris, and Ying Yang Twins, pitched to Hidden Beach a Collipark Sessions idea a few years ago and actually sent over a demo, doing a lot of the initial prep for the record.