Before I write anything about this album, I must admit that I have a bias towards the new hip-hop. The evolution of the mainstream is not reflective of the roots, and most lyrics follow the same bandwidth. Enter Charlie de’ Medici, a full-time lawyer who raps for fun. Now this usually means a mediocre attempt at making an album, but quite the contrary. Why Not? is a reason to make an album. Because, why not?
Sampling the golden years-jazz and soul
Using samples with shrewd mastery and vocals that are engaging, Medici is trying to bring back the golden years of old school hip-hop. His verses have poetry, and technique that are bookmarks of greats like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. He not only channels these energies for this jazz fueled ménage a trois, but clips it just short of a perfect album.
Opening with that classic Tribe loop, Carte Blanche is Charlie de’ Medici in his opening act. This is where we judge him, he knows, so he puts on an all out display of work. The lawyer gives himself full power to seize control of the day and his life, and he makes sure you know. Great start to the album.
The loop in BecauseWhy Not? sounds like Jay-Z’s controversial song from his 2017 album, 4:44. The song in focus is The Story of O.J, and Medici uses the same stylistic delivery to rap. Should be simple enough an answer to give someone when they ask why this. Passion, it sounds like.
Beginning the next song like the legendary Madvillain, Just for Entertainment is an extended answer to the previous question. It features an addictive sax loop that is all jazz-soul sound, and Medici delivers his promise in full here. His role is clearly defined, and he makes sure it is understood. He’s a cloud above the rest, and he’s raining verses.
With a shaolin inspired flute riff, Medici continues his lethal delivery in Arson. You can’t predict him; he can’t predict him. He doesn’t want to be limited and Arson talks about that with Medici bringing the heat. Some good pop references if you can follow his pace, that is.
Duh Dah Dah Freestyle is another focus in the flashlight. Medici uses an old Broadway style tune to introduce himself, after which he launches into his tirade. At this point it just looks like he’s too comfortable with himself, and if this is in one take as he suggests, the big names have competition.
Dividing halves-in portions
After an interesting interlude (which makes more sense if you listen to the album in chronological order), Medici continues with Misty. Comfortable in the haze, you’ll see exactly how much he wants you to see of him. His bars are sophisticated and barely stray from the title of the song, which is where pure writing talent comes from.
Another De La Soul style song, is CPD. All possible rhymes for this abbreviation come out, he’s just speaking his piece. The rap is an interesting showboat, making sense in the compilation of it all, well placed in the album to almost start to concretize his place.
The Recipe is what drives Charlie de’ Medici. He rambles through references, searching for success, and that’s the recipe he has. Profanity might be laced in occasionally, but Medici navigates through effortlessly in this song. One of his best in the album, if not all due to the effort the rhymes flow through.
Instead of whining about the changes and complaining, Medici opens a dialogue about what inspires him. Inspired is one such track, creating ripples with its positive agenda and free flow of thought-or masterstroke in writing.
Closing with No One Else, the message is clear. Not so subtle, not too outspoken. With finesse, Charlie de’ Medici delivers an album that deserves the accolade of recognition, his songs perfectly placed within the album to create a ripple effect of sense. He translates the intangible into songs, so we know there’s thought involved. We’re just glad when someone asked him why he’s making an album, he said Why Not?