Obie Trice. Real name, no gimmicks. Nothing truer has ever been said. He's following no trends nor is he jumping on a regional bandwagon for success. He dropped Cheers at a time when Eminem was the man and still got some shine. He held his own and established himself as an artist despite being backed by the blonde, pointy-nosed, white kid. Second Round's on Me is his sophomore effort. He didn't exactly hit the wall.
I've always said a good album sets the tone with the intro. Obie dodged the first bullet. A skit rides into Wake Up, a ballad about his struggle. Wanna Know is a guitar laced track produced by Emile that blends Obie's gritty Michigan with Van Halen. O rips it apart on Cry Now accompanied by a screaming sample and a beat to match. Trice then showcases his flow dexterity on the self-titled, Eminem-produced, Obie Trice. The track listing is solid and the album was well put together but as for quality…
Why don't we see that Obie is the greatest thing out of Aftermath since Eminem? He's that guy on your team (any team it doesn't matter). Everyone close to him swears he's the greatest talent out of the whole group. The whole group agrees, but the outsiders can't imagine it. "If he's so nice, let him show me!" Yeah that guy. He's almost a breath of fresh air. Almost. Not too heavy on the gun play, not too much weight on the cocaine slinging.
I applaud Obie for daring to be something different. He has the ability to turn the corner too...except for one thing. I hate to say it but Shady/Aftermath, the same entity that birthed him as an artist, might be the same parent that won't cut the umbilical cord. An overwhelming amount of Eminem beats don't do him justice. If Shady wasn't Shady you'd never hear any of his beats on anything. I'd be willing to bet my Record Review Degree on that. Along with Eminem's sound there's a pinch of G-Unit sprinkled throughout. The Shady/Aftermath method is so unmistakable that it's played out, especially since Em has left the stable.
Give this man credit. He is a talented artist. The flow switches up plus he's clever and creative. Finding this combination in today's rap game is like finding a job in Detroit. Although this album isn't the undeniable instant classic that I expect from every hip hop record (explanation for my ruthlessness on reviews) it's a respectable release. How is it that this album, a decent one, is flown so far under the radar while more sub par efforts get play? The bar's closed Obie. Where we going to for breakfast?