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DJBooth Album Review
It’s been a long, strange ride for the rapper once known as Tung Twista. Ten years ago he dropped Adrenaline Rush, gaining instant notoriety for his meth-addict fast rhyme style. Twista was set to go big time, then major labels stepped in and proceeded to screw him for the better part of a decade. After finally finding mainstream success with the smash album Kamikaze, he squandered his momentum on a disappointing follow-up effort, The Day After. This time around it’s back to basics for Adrenaline Rush 2007, an album that embraces the dark beats and semi-automatic flows that earned Twista his coveted spot in the DJBooth Record Book.
Maybe if McDonald’s had heard an advanced copy of No Pistols they wouldn’t have been so surprised Twista curses. Toxic, who along with Cuzo does the bulk of the album’s production, puts together a beat that sounds like a hip-hop version of The Godfather soundtrack. Twista and longtime partners Speedknot Mobstaz stab the track repeatedly with knife sharp flows that read like an issue of Guns and Ammo Magazine. More relaxed but equally dope is Whip Game Proper. The beat’s minimal, it doesn’t get much more complicated than video game samples, but that just gives Twista and Lil' Wayne more space to maneuver. Headphones don’t do Whip Game Proper justice, I dare you to bump it on the car stereo at three in the morning and not break your neck.
Twista hasn’t forgotten that Slow Jamz is the main reason he can afford that Bentley. He takes a few shots at another crossover hit on Adrenaline Rush, but with only limited success. Twista brings in R. Kelly for some legitimately soulful stepping on the track Love Rehab. It’s good, but Twista sounds like he’s guesting on his own song, and lord knows Kelly needs some love rehab, maybe even love prison. Say Say suffers from exactly the same problem. It’s a fully Southern fried party song courtesy of Jazze Pha and Cee-Lo, but Twista’s only a small part of the feel good vibe. When you need an Oreo pizza you call Dominos, and when you need a club hit you call The Neptunes. Ever heard a Pharrell track? Then you’ve heard Give It Up, the uninspired lead single off Adrenaline Rush. Not every beat can be Grindin, and even Twista’s going to run out of something to say every once in a while. Even a Jamie Foxx chorus couldn’t make this song a hit. Give it up gentlemen.
Luckily these moments of radio-friendly fare are few and far between. Twista unites with former adversaries Bone Thugs N’ Harmony for Ain’t No Hoes, a track that could be a textbook for young rappers looking to inject some speed and melody into their flows. This is a true Midwest alliance; separately Twista and Bone Thugs are mic killers, so with their powers combined…! Speaking of collaborations, the unavoidable T-Pain almost raps faster than Twista on Creep Fast, a joint so fresh I wore out the rewind button on my stereo. This is exactly the track longtime Twista fans have been waiting for.
Adrenaline Rush has a little too much filler to be a classic: Seven Day Hustle would have been better off in Beyonce’s hands, Wrist Stay Rocky grabs hold of the tired chopped n’screwed formula and refuses to let go, and why do rappers insist on flooding their albums with pointless skits? Why god, why? But you know what? Twista’s got me too charged to be negative. I’m even feeling Pimp Like Me, though I’d probably tear an ACL trying to juke-dance. So loosen up your tongue and start speaking like you’re working at an auction, Twista’s back and he’s taking names.
DJBooth Rating - 4 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on 09/19/07
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First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Talk Hard" (2006)
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