Album Review :
Playdough - Hotdoggin

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Artist: Playdough
Release: Hotdoggin
Label: none
Release Date: April 2011
Reviewed By: BMer

Track Listing:

  1. Nunya (0:47)
  2. Rhymer Reason (3:04)
  3. No Angel (3:45)
  4. Elizabeth Shue (2:52)
  5. The Business (2:42)
  6. Say Sumn (3:39)
  7. My Cadillac (3:29)
  8. Franks & Beans (feat. Gift of Gab) (2:54)
  9. 1 Day (4:44)
  10. Hotdoggin (2:54)
  11. Singleminded Female (3:39)
  12. So What (feat. Freddie Bruno) (3:00)
  13. I Got It Like (4:09)
  14. Ya Heard (feat. Mr. Dibbs Vs The Black Keys) (3:55)
  15. Follow It (3:41)
  16. Sunset (4:20)

“What are you doing out there man, huh? You’re hotdogin’ out there!”

“Aw so what coach?!”

“Well if you’re gonna be hotdoggin’ you gotta do it right.”

Playdough’s third full-length album is titled Hotdoggin and it definitely follows through with the expectations. Playdough, the MC lyric-master of Deep Space 5, has released two previous full-length mixtapes for free, Writer Dye and Bible Bus Mixtape, and all of his work shows an obvious gift for rapping, but neither release really compares to Hotdoggin.

Narrated by a little old lady resembling Betty White, Hotdoggin blasts out of the gates with “Rhymer Reason” with it’s groovin’ bass walk and sing-along chorus “Thank you, you’re welcome…now is the time for the rhyme and the reason”. Playdough has often said that his previous mixtapes and work were building up to this release, and you can definitely tell his beats and lyrics are on-point. Armed with a resume of work with DeepSpace 5 and Ill Harmonics, plus a few battle-rap victories and mixtapes, Playdough mixes a sound knowledge of the Bible with everyday raps.

Playdough’s light-hearted style makes Hotdoggin such a blast to listen to. Every track is upbeat and moving, and Playdough’s whimsical raps always draw a chuckle like in the first track he released “My Cadillac” -”My son learned quick my AC lacked / Looking real hard, a toddler car seat in the back / Perfect size the trunk carries the merch / Playdough family parking lot at the Church Sunday morning.” But while Playdough does keep a laid-back feel throughout Hotdoggin, he does touch on some serious topic like false idols (“Franks & Beans), the End Times (“Follow It”), and a song written about dying (“1 Day”) where Playdough raps “Because I can’t feel hurt, don’t remember no pain / To live is Christ, to die is gain / And when you miss me sit back and press play / Think this is how I changed the world in one day.”

Hotdoggin is excellent all the way through, each song has interesting samples and some funk to keep the feel light. Playdough’s delivery is more MC / hip-hop than rap, with emphasis on how the lyrics flow together and the serious lyrical content. Playdough also pushes the limits of “Christian” music, exploiting some of the freedom he has since he’s releasing these albums on his own. He also brings some legit guest artists to Hotdoggin including Gift of Gab of Blackalicious and Mr Dibbs, who brings his talents with a mashup of The Black Keys on “Ya Heard”, plus a handful of producers to keep the quality throughout.

OVERALL Hotdoggin is easily Playdough’s best work. Playdough’s flow is creative and his delivery is very confident, his lyrical content is honest and personal. Playdough is easily one of the best MC’s in the underground scene today, he’s the best part of Deep Space 5 and even better when he’s on his own, Hotdoggin will be one of the best hip-hop albums of 2011.