Success has a way of changing people. It doesn't matter who you are, or what you do, even a small whiff of money or a taste of power can have a life altering effect. History has shown us that Hip-Hop artists are especially acceptable to such change, which is never more evident than through the career paths taken by artists such as 50 Cent, Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Ja Rule. Now Twista can add his name to that list. With his third solo album, The Day After, the Windy City tongue twister falls victim to his own success by delivering a soft and uninspiring album that abandons his gritty sounds of the past.
After going platinum with his sophomore effort, Kamikaze, Twista looks to duplicate his success with The Day After. Unfortunately, such an attempt hinders his growth, as Twista sacrifices his creativity and edge in order to manufacture radio friendly hits. The Neptune's sultry piano loop and bongo drums on "Lavish," are overshadowed by Pharell's off key crooning and Twista's generic lyricism. The lead single "Girl Tonight," is a sappy R&B effort targeted towards the TRL crowd, leaving his hardcore fans mystified. Similarly, Twista calls on R&B mega producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins for a tender duet with Mariah Carey on "So Lonely." Another questionable move comes with his attempt to create a Reggaeton club banger with "Hit The Floor," which features Miami emcee Pitbull, and is produced by Mr. Collipark of Ying Yang Twins fame. The song is proof that Twista's intention with The Day After is to appeal to as many demographics as possible.
Besides spending an abundant amount of time catering to top 40 play lists, Twista also unwisely calls on one too many guests to help him on The Day After as well. The inclusion of Juvenile on the Speedknot Mobstaz collaboration of "Out Here" was unnecessary, as is the cliché pimp tales of "Had To Call," which features Big Snoop Dogg. Additionally, Lil Kim's doubled timed rhyme style fails to keep up with Twista on "Do Wrong."
It's only when Twista goes for dolo and sticks to what he does best that The Day After finally resembles the album true fans hoped for. The title track finds Twista in vintage form, spewing off rapid-fire lines with the precision he is known for. "Check That Hoe" and "Chocolate Fe's And Redbones" also takes listeners back to his true pimp material, unlike the bland aforementioned effort with Snoop Dogg. "I'm A Winner" is another notable effort as well, even though Twista's stale lyrics run thin.
While it's great to see Twista finally getting the mainstream recognition he deservers, he unfortunately tries too hard to rake in the big bucks with The Day After. There is a difference between making commercially viable songs that stay true to who you are as an artist, and jacking the industry's blueprint for hits. For Twista, he needs to find a middle ground instead of leaving his diehard fans in the dust after tasting success. While Twista will be embraced by casual fans and critics alike for his effort due to his newfound superstar status, those who have followed the Chi-Town veteran will ultimately come way feeling cheated with The Day After.