The Score: Travis Barker, Give The Drummer Some

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 2:10PM

Written by Jesse Prince

Buy Now
  • Give The Drummer Some
  • Travis Barker
  • March 15, 2011 4/5
SoulCulture 4/5
411Mania 8/10
Sputnik 4.5/5
Project11 7.75/10

Renowned percussionist and hip-hop collaborator Travis Barker releases his aptly-titled album Give the Drummer Some, today.

Barker's first solo LP is a fusion of rock and rap.

Give the Drummer Some is not a pop punk album at all. For all intents and purposes this is a hip-hop album that has a big rock influence. Since Travis Barker himself doesn't rap or sing and since an instrumental album probably wouldn't be all that interesting to most, these tracks all have guest appearances. The guests on this album are mostly rappers but after that they're about as random as you can get - guests range from Kid Cudi to Tech N9ne to Lupe Fiasco. (Project 11)

A slew of hip-hop's elite lyricists lent the drummer their vocals for his feature album.

This album features a plethora of hip hop giants and the fact that Barker can seamlessly weave them all together on one record that flows so smoothly is even more impressive. These are rappers with entirely different styles - featuring verses from polar opposites such as Lupe Fiasco, Raekwon, and Tech N9ne; Travis produces beats that fits each style perfectly - leaving you salivating for more after each song. The only thing that prevents this from getting a 5 from me is the song "Knockin'" which features Snoop, Ludacris and E-40 - the song is very underwhelming and although it's not entirely terrible, it is very noticeably the worst song on the record (and sitting at track #4, it takes the train off the track pretty early). (Sputnik Music)

Give The Drummer Some also features Barker taking on a heavy production role on the album.

As hard as it may be to imagine anyone other than a rapper shining on this project, Travis Barker's calamitous drumming only adds the raucous, live productions on board - almost composed entirely by Barker himself. The heavy drums birth a live element of Hip Hop which the likes of Just Blaze, Black Milk and others have infused into their sound. Assembling a mini Wu revival on 'Carry It' the duo of the RZA and Raekwon relentlessly ride a heavy guitar-led anthem, but the aggression switches to the lavish playa cut 'Knockin' where its steady rolling mood is motored by Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, E-40 and DEV. (SoulCulture)

Speaking on Travis Barkers foray into hip-hop, Southern rapper Paul Wall commented on the former blink-182 member's aptitude for production.

"That's what a lot of people are assuming [as it being rock], but his Hip-Hop production is amazing," he said in an interview. "You wouldn't even guess that the worlds most popular/talented drummer is producing these tracks. Since he plays the drums, I think he has a different perspective on production. His style is definitely very unique. But I really don't feel that there is a rock sound in the tracks he produced for my album. There is one song called 'Heart of a Hustler' that does have it, but the other six songs he produced don't." (Paul Wall Co-Signs Travis Barker)

Critics generally gave the drummer good reviews, yet highlighted a few of the album's hard "knocks". 

The only real issue with this LP is that not all of the features deliver when called upon. Ludacris' verse in "Knockin" had one memorable line which combines the "Supe Dupa Flow" with a normal punchline to give you that "OH... oh" feeling of disappointment. Kid Cudi's solo track ("Cool Head") is unimpressive, and the Wu-Tang members don't really jumpstart the project well with "Carry It." If the entire project had consistent verses from all involved, this could've been a somewhat cult classic project on our hands. (K1ngEljay)

That is not to say that every track is a perfect match of artists and production. I feel that Barker missed the mark on 'Knockin" which features Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, and E40. With the guests on that track you somewhat want a more laid bad G-Funk style beat, instead Barker provides a more radio friendly production backdrop. As well "Devils Got a Hold of Me" is a darker story type track which allows Slaughterhouse to show their lyrical muscle, but for myself Slaughterhouse seems to do best over a track with a lot of energy, so I was somewhat disappointed with their song. As well Barker goes back to his roots a little on the songs "On My Own' with a full rock scream type track which really makes you check to see that you are still listening to the same album, and definitely does not mesh at all with the rest of the cd. (411Mania)

To purchase Give The Drummer Some, just click here.

Preview tracks from the album below:

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