Blakroc

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Blakroc
Studio album by The Black Keys
Released November 24, 2009
Recorded 2009
(Brooklyn, New York City, New York)
Genre Rap rock, alternative hip hop, alternative rock, blues rock
Length 35:35 (physical)
31:27 (digital)
Label BlakRoc LLC, Cooperative Music, V2 Records
Producer Damon Dash (exec.), Dan Auerbach, Patrick Carney, Joel Hamilton
The Black Keys chronology
Attack & Release
(2008)
Blakroc
(2009)
Brothers
(2010)
Singles from Blakroc
  1. "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)"
    Released: September 14, 2009

Blakroc (stylized as BlakRoc) is a studio album by American blues rock band The Black Keys, in collaboration with Damon Dash, co-founder and former co-owner of Roc-A-Fella Records, who oversaw the project. The album features guest appearances from several hip hop and R&B acts, namely Mos Def, Nicole Wray, Pharoahe Monch, Ludacris, Billy Danze of M.O.P., Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Jim Jones and NOE of ByrdGang, as well as Raekwon, RZA and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard of Wu-Tang Clan.[1]

Recording and production[edit]

After Damon Dash began listening to Ohio-based rock duo The Black Keys, which he says quickly became his favorite band, he reached out to the musicians to meet in person. Dash suggested they enter the studio with his friend and associate, New York City-based rapper Jim Jones, with whom Dash had recently partnered to form Splash Records.[2] While recording with co-producer and engineer Joel Hamilton at Studio G, Brooklyn-bred rapper Mos Def, interrupted the session and ended up recording with them as well.[1] With new artists being called in to work on the album, it was completed after eleven weeks of recording. Included in the project are vocals from deceased rapper and former Roc-A-Fella Records artist Ol' Dirty Bastard, tapes which were signed over to his brief Roc4Life venture under Def Jam, with the intention of an eventual album release. In order to release Blakroc, Dash founded an independent record label in conjunction with the band.[1]

Release and promotion[edit]

Damon Dash, co-founder of the project has endorsed BlakRoc Camaros, limited edition Chevrolet Camaro automobiles to promote the album and brand.[3] The Black Keys have stated they did not take part in the promotion.[4]

The song "What You Do to Me" was featured in a 2011 Zales Diamonds Valentine's Day commercial and the fourth season premiere of True Blood as well as the True Blood volume three soundtrack.

The first single for the album, "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)", features a singing duet between The Black Keys' guitarist Dan Auerbach and Mos Def, with rap verses from Jim Jones; it was released on September 14, 2009.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
BBC (favorable)[5]
Clash 9/10 stars[6]
NME (7/10)[7]
The Observer 4/5 stars [8]
Pitchfork Media (6.7/10)[9]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[10]
Spin (5/10)[11]
The Seattle Times (favorable)[12]
The Washington Post (favorable)[13]

The album was generally received well by critics. The album reached Number 1 and Number 7 on the US Billboard Heatseakers chart and US Billboard Top Rap Albums respectively. Nick Neyland of BBC music stated in his review "this is a surprisingly compelling and welcome rejoining of the rap and rock worlds that successfully captures the off-the-cuff nature of the recording sessions."[14]

Blakroc 2[edit]

In early September 2011, a trailer surfaced for Blakroc 2, the second album from Blakroc, the collaborative hip-hop project from the Black Keys and Damon Dash,[15] however, later that month in an interview with Atlanta radio station 92.9 Dave FM, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney said, "BlakRoc 2 is not coming out soon... there are no plans for that."[16]

Carney said that the trailer is actually an unauthorized video that was pieced together about two years ago. They recorded "about eight songs" two years ago, but the album was never completed. A publicist has confirmed that there is no release date set for Blakroc 2. The trailer was posted on the YouTube channel of Damon Dash's DD172 media collective.[17]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Featured Artist Length
1. "Coochie" (This song does not appear on either the iTunes or Amazon versions of the album) Ludacris & Ol' Dirty Bastard 4:08
2. "On the Vista"   Mos Def 2:39
3. "Hard Times"   NOE 2:38
4. "Dollaz & Sense"   RZA & Pharoahe Monch 3:47
5. "Why Can’t I Forget Him"   Nicole Wray 4:16
6. "Stay Off the Fuckin’ Flowers"   Raekwon 2:31
7. "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)"   Mos Def & Jim Jones 3:23
8. "Hope You’re Happy"   Billy Danze of M.O.P., Q-Tip, & Nicole Wray 2:11
9. "Tellin’ Me Things"   RZA 2:39
10. "What You Do to Me"   Billy Danze of M.O.P., Jim Jones, & Nicole Wray 5:14
11. "Done Did It"   Nicole Wray & NOE 3:29

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2009)[18] Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200 110
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 21
U.S. Billboard Top Rap Albums 7
U.S. Billboard Top Heatseekers 1

References[edit]

External links[edit]