Review: Rimes of the Hip Hop Mariner

Rating: ★★★★★
Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew
www.piraterap.com

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Genre: Pirate-themed gansta rap
Rating: R
Target Audience: Immature adults 😛

Captain Dan’s debut album, Authentic Pirate Hip-Hop, essentially redefined the pirate-core playing field. True, many brilliant albums have borrowed styles from non-pirate genres, such as metal, rock, and alternative. And other albums managed to create styles that were essentially unique. But prior to Captain Dan’s gangsta rap release, never before had a pirate band so unabashedly plunged into such dangerous waters. Hip Hop is not for the weak – but not only did Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew survive their encounter with this tumultuous genre of thugs, drugs, and hos – they actually made it their bitch.

Only one year since their brilliant, daring debut, Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew have returned with their second offering, Rimes of the Hip Hop Mariner. In doing so, not only do they offer up a whopping 14 additional songs of high-seas rap, but they do so with such skill that they effectively demolish any possible question that Captain D might be a one-hit wonder. These pimps are the real deal, mates!

As with the first album, the music of Rimes of the Hip Hop Mariner varies in pace from song to song. Heavy beats abound, and the hip hop nature of the genre is abundant throughout. But the instrumentals of each song remain distinctive from one another, thus making boredom or monotony practical impossibilities. The subject matter tackled varies as well. Some of the songs reenvisit the common themes one would expect – Drink All Night and Rum Wench both address the subject of rum, albeit from very different angles. Shore Leave needs little explanation, nor does It’s All About the Booty (a song that, like its predecessor Round the Corner Sallies, contains lyrics not for the prudish, the squeamish, or the morally upright as it contains at least a few NC-17 visuals.) Other songs, however, broach entirely new subjects. Keel Haul ‘Em is all about theats of torture and abuse, while Broadside is a wonderfully brazen face-off between pirates and the British Navy (the rapping naval officer is a delight – he makes a great effort, but couldn’t sound lamer if he tried.) Sea Monsters is a fun romp about finding the terrors of the deep and serving them up with melted butter, while Dead Mine’s Cavern seems to be about World of Warcraft (certainly the oddest tangent on the album.) The album concludes with the slow and touching All Me Mateys Dead and Gone, being a touching salute to those that have fallen.

Rimes of the Hip Hop Mariner is a brilliant, brilliant album. In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose I should mention that my own voice is prominently featured on track 6 as I introduce the fictional pirate rap band, The Sea Swanks. But believe you me, even if I hadn’t been asked to participate on this album, my enthusiasm for this album would be just as profound. Rimes of the Hip Hop Mariner is a treasure for pirate music lovers.