The People vs.
Not known on a mainstream national level, Trick Trick is no stranger to rap music listeners. This Detroit-native beat rider has been around the block a few times. On this, his latest effort, he gets help from Obie Trice, Eminem and members of D-12, bringing his Motown street slang to new blocks and corners. Production from Mr. Porter gets things bouncing, but Trick Trick's trampoline of content has a hole in the middle. Subject-wise, he too often repeats himself, songs quickly become see through. Give "Attitude Adjustment" and "Leave Your Past" a listen.
Ying Yang Twins
D-Roc and Kaine, the duo known as Ying Yang Twins, are back with yet another party starting album. Following on the heels of their previous album, "United States of Atlanta," the pair offers "U.S.A. Still United," an extension of that effort. Like any great after party, there is more action, more guests and goodies not found in the main show. "Shake Remix" with Pitbull and Elephant Man is explosive like a shaken wine bottle, while "Bedroom Boom" featuring Avant is private, VIP nastiness. "Still United" lacks the depth of "U.S.A.," and only carries some of the same weight in fun.
Nelly takes his two previous offerings, "Sweat" and "Suit," combining them into one album and more. The new track "Grillz" adds on to Nelly's history of catchy jams and anthems with this southern ode to coolness. The Alchemist-produced "Playa" featuring Missy Elliott and Mobb Deep will get one sweating, while "Nasty Girl" will have one looking to change their suite. Anthony Hamilton steals the show with a powerful gospel-influenced performance on "Nobody Knows".
In 1994, one could not have predicted that comedian/actor/pianist, Jamie Foxx, would actually record a serious musical album. To the surprise of many, his debut offering, "Peep This," was solid R&B work. Led by the single "Infatuation," Foxx showed that his musical talents were nothing to joke about.
Twelve years and one Academy Award later, we get "Unpredictable," Foxx's long-awaited follow-up. He does tend to trip up a few times here. Some songs are just what one may expect from today's youth-targeted R&B music. The album's first half of danceable, soul-less club jams ("With You," "Can I Take U Home") seem average.
The later half focuses on his vocal power, song-writing ability and musicianship. Songs like "Three Letter Word" and "Storm (Forecass)" greatly impress. "Heaven," which teams Foxx with a piano, may leave one hanging on to this number for years to come.
t's Good" featuring T-Boz of TLC.
Mail press and album review material to - Joe Walker, PO Box 1375, E.Lansing, MI 48826.