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Travis Barker goes solo with ‘Give the Drummer Some’

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"Give the Drummer Some" is Travis Barker's first solo project. Photo via Interscope Records.

Can a drummer get some? Travis Barker of Blink-182 says yes, and he’s aiming to prove it and make his own moment in the spotlight with his new collaborative album “Give the Drummer Some.”

Not content to play in the background behind lead singers and guitarists any longer, Barker moves well into the hip-hop lane with “Give the Drummer Some,” meshing his eccentric style and persona with the cocky, egotistical ways of some of rap’s favorites. Featured guests on the album include Ludacris, Lil Wayne, T.I., Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg, Drake, Lupe Fiasco and many more.

The album kicks off with the opening track, “Can a Drummer Get Some?” It’s a question asked with passion, Barker storming in with crashing drums supported by riotous guitar riffs and hip-hop swagger courtesy of the fierce foursome of Swizz Beatz, The Game, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross.

The upbeat vibes continue on “If You Want To,” with Pharrell Williams and Lupe Fiasco channeling the spirit of a more rambunctious sound. Barker’s fast-paced, versatile sticking fills this track, giving the hip-hop a lively boost.

The highlight of the album is “Knockin’,” a cleverly written track with a catchy beat and even catchier melody. Snoop Dogg rhymes “I’m not a drummer, but this summer the beat goes on.” The rock edge supports the rap punch, creating a song that makes perfect sense despite the questionable mix.

The seventh track, “Let’s Go,” features some impressively high-speed verses from Busta Rhymes, Twista and Yelawolf, likely to become blaring car speaker-fare by this summer. The track is one of many on the album which reminds us of Barker’s presence not only in the drum solos, but also in the lyrics, with Twista rapping, “I gotta give the drummer some … blink 182 times / when you see the Twista with Travis, madness.”

“Carry It,” which features RZA, Raekwon and Tom Morello, also makes a reference to Barker early in the track: “Like lightning bolts spearing down from Mount Olympus / Beat on your head like a Travis Barker cymbal.” This one has an angrier, more repetitive tone as compared to the rest of the tracks.

Barker’s name isn’t the only thing getting laced throughout the album, however. While it’s primarily hip-hop driven, the album ventures back to the drummer’s original grungy rock roots.

For example, “Raw Shit,” with Tech N9ne and Bun B, has an energetic, mosh pit-type feel with a low bass. In fact, the lyrics even prompt “Let’s start a mosh pit / Head bangers get to spazzin out.”

Unfortunately, the rock vibes in some of the tracks don’t match up to the standards set by the album. “Saturday Night,” featuring Barker’s punk group The Transplants and Guns N’ Roses legend Slash, join “Carry It” and “Just Chill” as the least impressive tracks on the album — mostly due to their hardcore essence and incoherence with the rest of the album.

Overall, “Give the Drummer Some” has something to offer hipsters, heavy rock heads, and even those hardcore hip-hop fans who may have raised an eyebrow upon hearing about Barker’s solo project. Each guest artist has their beats individually tailored by him, making it an incredibly diverse album that lets these legends and superstars do what they do best — all to the beat of a drummer who can obviously get some.

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