“Fifty Shades of Frank” is the latest instalment in South Carolina-based rapper Frank Peters’ 10+ year career.
The album kicks off with a spoken word intro that, like the title of the album, is a thinly veiled play on 50 Shades of Grey. It’s not a particularly clever pun, and if I have to be honest it comes off sounding cheesy. But I’m determined to give the album at least the old college try, so I soldier on.
Unfortunately, the spoken word intro is not a fluke. The album is punctuated by similar “shade of” interludes spoken by women in different languages after almost every song. I suppose the point is to infuse some sort of story-telling or thematic element into the album, but I don’t get it. A play on 50 Shades of Grey isn’t a particularly strong idea, or even a creative one for that matter, and the interludes belabour it into the ground. Besides being self-serving, they quite frankly (see what I did there?) give off a distinctly misogynistic vibe. Not good.
The production itself is stellar, but the songs themselves are pretty standard rap fare. At best, they sound generic. At worst the rapping is all over the place (Ambitionz is a case in point), with not much in the way of hooks or even variance in vocal delivery and inflection.
All in all, it’s a disappointing and completely forgettable album. Given his many years of experience in the industry and his self-appointed status as a “rap genius”, Frank Peters should be able to do much better than this.