Review: 3 out of 5
Best Song: Celebrate
Cassidy’s third album B.A.R.S. or The Barry Adrian Reese Story brings the once battle rapper to new heights. In fact, his album is more Kanye West than 50 Cent. There’s only one gun-toting track to boot while the rest of the LP is a reflective of Cassidy’s last year from almost dying in a car crash (didn’t this happen to Kanye?) and being acquitted of involuntary manslaughter (didn’t this happen to Snoop?). Adding to Cassidy’s return is the fact we haven’t heard much from him musically since 2005’s I’m A Hustla, which incidentally was the first record to be certified platinum as a ringtone. Anyway check the breakdown.
1. Intro (B.A.R.S. vs. Da Hustla) (Produced by The Individualz)
This intro is Cass battling himself as “BARS” and “Da Hustla”, basically a “battle” to contrast the growth from his last album till now. Also since being a hustler is no longer in, and being real is in, Cassidy has to dispel his hustler image as much as possible. This intro is also in the same vein of his last album’s intro “Problem vs. The Hustler” which turned Cassidy from the battle rapper into a hustler.
2. My Drink N My 2 Step (Produced by Swizz Beatz)
You already know this song and if your like me this song has likely grown on you. Turning a otherwise “party song lead off single” into a celebratory song seems like the cool thing to do for 2007 (i.e. Kanye’s “Good Life” and Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys”). This could probably relive the ringtone glory of “Im A Hustla”.
3. Where My Niggas At (Produced by Neo Da Matrix)
This sounds like it could have been on an early Ruff Ryderz compilation album. It’s the only song where Cass spits that gun talk, but its cool because he does it in a cleaver way -too many hot lines in this one – and maybe some shots at Lil’ Wayne?
Best Line: Don’t get me wrong I put songs that was conscious out, but I still grab the Thompson and blow your conscious out. [sidebar: what conscious song did dude put out?]
4. I Will Never Tell (Uh Uh) feat. Larsiny (Produced by Nottz)
The “Stop Snitchen” policy in full effect here. Better not go on 60 Minutes Cass.
5. I Pray feat. Shiz Lansky (Produced by Bink)
Aside from a beat that sounds like it would be better suited for a Snoop Dogg remix to “Beautiful Girls”, the track provides a look into just how religious Cassidy has become. He states, “We pray everyday” which I don’t believe, but whatever.
6. Innocent feat. Mark Morrison (Produced by The Individualz & Swizz Beatz)
Yes, that Mark Morrison from ’95’s smash “Return of the Mack”. How they linked up here is anyone’s guess, but likely because Mark has a rap sheet longer than most rappers and is a R&B singer. I can picture O.J. singing this joint.
Best line: Rest in peace to Desmond Hawkins and I want to apologize to his family.