Petey Pablo single-handedly saved North Carolina from rap obscurity with his debut album “Diary Of A Sinner” released on Jive Records. It was the energetic two Southern anthems, "Raise Up" and "919" that almost made him a household name. 3 years later, Petey Pablo returns with his sophomore album “Still Writing In My Diary : 2nd Entry”. While songs such as "Get on This Motorcycle", “Freak A Leek” and “Jam Y’all” are straight club anthems, "What U Know About It" represents his home state and “I Swear” displays his loyalty to his people. A majority of the album is bragging, sex raps, Southern anthems, or club anthems. The true talent of Pablo comes within his breath control, signature style voice, incredible energy and his melodic flow. Surprisingly, there aren’t many references to murder and diamonds even though there are plenty of club anthems. Producers include Timbaland, Mannie Fresh, Scott Storch and Kanye West. Guests include Bubba Sparxxx, Missy Elliot, Lil John, Young Buck of G-Unit, Baby and TQ. While many may dismiss Petey Pablo as typical Southern bounce music, he is doing something a little different and the cathartic experience of diary writing becomes a journey even non-Southern hip-hop fans may wish to take.
Some songs on “Still Writing In My Diary” instantly hit the listener. The best song on the album is “O It’s On” featuring Young Buck Of G-Unit. The sinister beat is addictive and the adrenaline will start flowing as soon as it begins. The first single “Freek-A-Leek” is filled with rambunctious and raunchy sex rhymes. He even rhymes about lavish lifestyles. “Stick Em Up” is an energetic track about robbing people and taking what you want. “Be Country” is soulful down home track about the glorious life down south. Two heartfelt tracks “I Swear” and “He Spoke To Me” are very interesting. “I Swear” is about loyalty and how he maintains that loyalty. “He Spoke To Me” is obviously a song about his relationship with God. “Get On Dis Motorcycle” featuring Bubba Sparxxx is another impressive cut where Pablo steals the show on the mic. The two hidden tracks are also well worth listening to.
There are some formulaic tracks that are good but do not blow the mind. “Did You Miss Me” (featuring Baby and TQ), “Jam Y’all”, and “let’s Roc” all have good energy but they are not classic cuts. Still, Petey Pablo’s flow and voice displays versatility as well as a vulnerability. There is pain, anger, and humor in his delivery and lyrics. Another formula-driven track is the Lil Jon collaboration “U Don’t Want Dat”. While the energy is maintained, it is just another Lil Jon collaboration.
Some tracks may leave the listeners scratching their heads. “Boys Bathroom” is a perfect example. While Petey’s flow is cool, the chorus has him yelling “Get in the boys bathroom!!!” It just sounds immature.
Petey Pablo has made a name for himself and this album has proven that he is not going anywhere. It sticks to the formula that fans expect and depend on. He’s guaranteed a hit with at least one of the tracks. Even if you do not like Southern hip-hop, Petey Pablo should be appreciated. His gruff voice has range and he can rhyme his ass off! He can shout and “get crunk” like the rest of them but he also can sound sincere and soulful like Outkast or Goodie Mob. If the typical formula was not forced, this record would be much more inspiring and innovative. Still, Petey Pablo’s “2nd Entry” is worth reading.