TRUTHLiVE - Patience

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Easily, "Catalyst for Change" is the album's best cut. Jake One's production is suitably off-kilter, accentuated with ghostly whistles and rattling cow bells.

On his solo debut, Patience, Northern California emcee TRUTHLiVE shows a clear disdain for the mainstream and an interest in “big picture” topics, skewing away from specificity and into generality. He discusses bullying, the Presidency of George W. Bush, artistic inspiration, and, too often, the state of Hip Hop today. It is commendable that TRUTHLiVE wants to cover so much ground, but it’s disappointing that he chooses to do it at the cost of details and a personal connection to the listener. The man is clearly talented, possessing a forceful delivery that also maintains a sense of composure. Unfortunately, by the end of Patience, the listener is left knowing much more about the emcee's “policies,” if you will, than about the kind of person he really is.
   

Patience offers a good introduction to the emcee in “That Dude” with a minimalist beat provided by Jake One. The Seattle veteran handles production throughout the album, which allows Truth to display his aforementioned confidently unhurried style. Next up is "Ready Set Go," which features a live band feel. It’s the first of many songs that see the Berkeley rapper addressing larger, global issues. He raps "Not me, I'm a lead / Till we're free from all the greed / Plant seed / Breed and blossom at light speed / I indeed proceed.” But there is nothing light-speed about TRUTHLiVE, and nothing seemingly groundbreaking in his ideas. Why rap about changing the world in these broad stroke, generic terms? Why not discuss, in specific, interesting detail, the things that are going wrong and what can really be done about them, if anything. The same problem arises in “It’s Easy,” a song about bullying whose message is undeniably worthwhile, be yourself no matter what, but whose lyrics are disappointingly non-specific, weird kid, tormented by the cool kids and feels tempted to conform. This story is supplemented with guidance counselor advice and adages like, "be the change you wish to see." When dealing with love on “Poetry in Motion,” TRUTH again takes the generic route. Despite boasting Jake One's suitably romantic production, with a single note piano line recalling a racing heartbeat, a catchy chorus crooned by Trevor Wesley, and some clever lyrics like “Don't want to make her mine I want to be hers," a nice reversal of the typical attitude towards domination of women. Most of the song contains groan-worthy pick up lines like "Feel like the only people here, though the dance floor is packed / They say opposites attract / But I feel we are exact." Despite his platitudes, LiVE's insights come alive on “The Bush Years.” Here, Jake One lays down a menacing beat featuring rattling chains and Truth spits angrily cynical lines like “Waiting for elections like that's gonna be some new shit / This whole thing is fraudulent / Writing’s on the wall, graffiti quite obvious."
   
The emcee fares much better when he deals with the Rap game, but even that grows tiresome as hearing yet another underground rapper complain about the mainstream feels de rigueur. But credit where credit is due, TRUTH does create some compelling music dealing with this well-worn subject. “Remind Rewind” is a charmingly earnest track about going back to your favorite music when you feel discouraged and in need of inspiration, as scratches from DJ D Sharp lend it a suitably old-school vibe. “Digital Courage” can feel a little preachy, but the emcee’s dissection of the way the Internet has affected Rap is dealing with a vital topic and his willingness to implicate himself in the matter shows an admirable self-awareness. Easily, "Catalyst for Change" is the album's best cut. Jake One’s production is suitably off-kilter, accentuated with ghostly whistles and rattling cow bells. TRUTHLiVE is again at his best and most forceful when addressing his displeasure with the current state of Rap, "It's a mockery when you need a glock to win / See, these toxic dreams destroy flocks of men / No you can't stop me or box me in / I spit shit Lil Wayne can't comprehend." Ras Kass comes through and delivers a monster verse opening with "I'm 'bout new boxers and Air Force One's everyday / Doing a buck-ten on the freeway, switchin’ lanes / I'm 'bout pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters / I'm 'bout Pan-Africanism and pancaking six-trays." As great as these tracks are, though, one begins to wish TRUTH would open up a bit about himself. Thankfully he does on the album’s impressive closing track, “Nature of Man.” A swaggering beat and a rolling piano line propel this most personal track. Finally, he has decided to let the listener in and it results in the record's best lyrics, "I got anxiety, it's mounting and it builds each day / I got a "Why me?"-doubting that won’t go away / I got a fish bowl complex, I feel the eyes / I got a deep subconscious and it's riddled with lies / I got acid reflux stay burning my throat / I got ideas in trucks and those by the boat / I got real a bad habit to self destruct / I got used to the average and not giving a fuck.”
   
The trouble with Patience is that TRUTHLiVE sounds best and brings his strongest material when addressing the Rap game, but that subject that has grown pretty stale and holds little interest to many music fans, and he falters when faced with serious subjects, often falling back on the crutches of clichés and platitudes. But “Nature of Man” is a very good sign. If the emcee is able to maintain that kind of honesty and continue to apply it to his own life and also the world around him while leaving the petty, "inside baseball" Rap game grumblings alone he will be an emcee worth watching for.

52 Comments

  • Kay W

    album is pretty weak and overall average , but dude definetly got skillz , if you hear "nature of man" , "catalyst for change" & "its easy", I"ll def check his new shit

  • intelRebelLion

    dope album honest REAL content , not the best lyricist but has better sh*t to say so im listening_ look forward to hearing more of the TRUTH

  • WTF-MAN

    GARBAGE ALBUM, BELIEVE ME

  • intelRebelLion

    ILL album - loving the content delivered smooth so the listener can understand what hes talkin about - loving the features Moe Green is something to look out for - production is ILL - jus wish it was longer - lookin forward to seein this kid grow -

  • intelRebelLion

    ILL album - loving the content delivered smooth so the listener can understand what hes talkin about - loving the features Moe Green is something to look out for - production is ILL - jus wish it was longer - lookin forward to seein this kid grow - ->intelligentRebelLion

  • The Grey Crow

    An overall dope album. Jake Ones production felt natural paired with Truths lyrics. Quality substance filled hip hop in my opinion. Looking forward to the next album regardless.

  • The Grey Crow

    On top of Jake Ones distinct style of production and Truths fresh delivery, the combination seemed natural to me. An extremely refreshing feeling in its entirety. Lyrically the album was well executed and on-point, mix that in with some dope beats, and quality hip hop is sure to ensue. No matter what your audible preference of hip hop is, if you listened to this man spit then you would know substance is in well abundance. Looking forward to the next album regardless. The underground crop is where its at.

  • Rolemodelrick

    album is fresh, thought the rhymes were fitting to the tracks. The beats could build more out of the constant loop, Truth has a good story to tell, feeling it yo.

  • Rolemodelrick

    album is fresh, thought the rhymes were fitting to the tracks. The beats could build more out of the constant loop. TRUTHLiVE has a good story to tell, feeling it yo.

  • rca chords

    well put together album, liking the rhymes as much as the beats.

  • rca chords

    well put together album, liking the rhymes as much as the beats. Would say the beats could use more arrangement. Dont be a slave to a sample! Learn to play a instrument.

  • Kanyeshrug

    This is one of the best albums of 2010 I've heard so far. For a debut, this was well crafted. Dope production (Jake One), dope lyrics=formula for success. Don't sleep!

  • Kanyeshrug

    This is one of the best albums of 2010 I've heard so far. For a debut, this was well crafted. Dope production (Jake One), dope lyrics=formula for success. Don't sleep on this dude..

  • Kanyeshrug

    This is one of the best albums of 2010 I've heard so far. For a debut, this was well crafted. Dope production (Jake One), dope lyrics=formula for success. Tip of the hat to Truthlive. Don't sleep..

  • Kanyeshrug

    This is one of the best albums of 2010 I've heard so far. For a debut, this was well crafted. Dope production (Jake One), dope lyrics=formula for success. Don't sleep on Truthlive yall..

  • Kanyeshrug

    This is one of the best albums from 2010 I've heard so far. For a debut album, this was well crafted. Dope producer (Jake One)+dope lyrics=formula for success. Tip of the hat to Truthlive.

  • Kanyeshrug

    This is one of the best albums from 2010 I've heard so far. For a debut album, this was well crafted. Dope producer (Jake One)+dope lyrics=formula for success. Tip of the hat to @Truthlive.

  • sparxsman

    ALL UNSIGNED ARTIST REGISTER @ WEBUILDHITS.COM PLAY THE GAME WITH HIPHOP`S BIGGEST PRODUCERS

  • pablitro

    Production is sick, Jake one is getting bigger and bigger, i can understand just some lyrics cause of my bad english, but the guy knows how to rap, decent flow....Dope Album WTF?! xD

  • Gonzalo

    SOLDADO ENT PRESENTS GONZALO SOUNDBOY KILLA & MI MONTUNO AVAILABLE NOW ON ITUNES & AMAZONMP3 OVER RMX FREE DOWNLOAD http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_3822932 I'M CRUSHING ALL COMPETITION THE INDUSTRY WILL NOT IMPEDE ON MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO RHYME

  • V.S.sUPER HERO

    gave this 4 listens at this point mos def a good record nice beats and dudes rapping his ass off

  • NoShoes

    Dope album! Too often rap only fuels the fire that is already burning out of control. Always good to have the Truth on your side-YA!

  • JAYME

    I thought the album was awesome. I like truth because he speaks it. He breaks shit down with a strong delivery and a very extensive vocabulary. Hiphop in general has gotten pretty wack. Most people who are in the game just have strong beats to hide there poor vocabulary and mis-education. While song writing in general its a strong outlet for one to speak his or her mind; I feel most artists rap about the same uneducated, misogynist, i sell drugs, i got my nine, i clap people, i spend money I have a cool bently omgooses im so dope. People like common, mos and other rappers alike at least write about current events and shit like that. Thats whats real and thats the hip-hop I have came to love. While most people like radio played wackness, I prefer independent because its not about the money. On a side note I hate how people are so immature and jealous that they have to harass people over a forum and hide behind anonymous names. Its pretty lame. It must be easy to hide behind a screen and pretend your a tough guy in real life. Sounds to me like life gave a big ol asshat'ed distentfrom and wtf-man. Imho I bet they havent even heard the album. I bet they shit in there gaming chairs, all fatted out eating hotpockets and wring erroneous comments about people they know nothing about. Im sorry life did you guys wrong. You guys shoudl hang your selves asap and do us all a favor.

  • rocker

    Thought he held the beat well, a lyricist for sure. Beat were cool, could build out of a loop more. Think this material is better than the first two other artist that flopped from iM..

  • V.S.sUPER HERO

    Listened to this album 3 or 4 times by now dope beats and dudes rappin his ass off would mos def recommend this...

  • Eyepawn

    thought he held the beat well, a lyricist for sure. Beat were cool, could build out of a loop more. Think this material is better than the first two other artist that flopped from iM.

  • Rolemodelrick

    overall solid album, Intelligent rhymes and well thought out songs. Beats were dope, could have more to them, at least build beyond a loop..

  • Rolemodelrick

    overall solid album, Intelligent rhymes and well thought out songs. Beats were dope, could have more to them, at least build beyond a loop.

  • intelRebelLion

    ALbum was solid - good content great guest features great production - Nature of Man is an real dope track - def worth the listen -

  • krzee

    While I disagree with some of your analysis, it was well written. Here is some of what jumped out at me: "Unfortunately, by the end of Patience, the listener is left knowing much more about the emcee's “policies,” if you will, than about the kind of person he really is." That was a weird comment to me... I feel like I got a good understanding of his beliefs in this album, and that makes me feel like I know him as a person. Don't tell me that you like driving 110 on the freeway (not a shot at Ras, Ras is dope), tell me what you really believe in... Truth did it. "Truth spits angrily cynical lines like “Waiting for elections like that's gonna be some new shit / This whole thing is fraudulent / Writing’s on the wall, graffiti quite obvious."" Have you been paying attention? Most people who have feel the same as him, I respect him for putting it on wax.

  • lostrolemodel

    really? awful? ha. Might be talking about your own album no one wants to put out. Lets be real. The album could use some improvements on emotion on certain tracks but overall rhymes were cool, smart and beats were sick.

  • ceia font

    album is dope, overall thought the energy could improve on certain parts of the record. I think the album is worth a listen, damn theres a idiot on the comments tonight.

  • Rolemodelrick

    Def feeling the whole project. Intilligent rhymes I feel complimented the beats. I'm not sure the other critics listened to the same album as I did. Maybe there used to dumb down lyrics on 808's and claps or have a personal problem. Looking forward to more material. Good shit.

  • PriMOktz

    This album was pretty well crafted. Dope beats, good rhymes, it actually sounded pretty fresh compared to whats been coming out lately. Ready Set Go, Poetry In Motion, Remind Rewind are def the jams. I give 4 stars!

  • PriMOktz

    Ready Set Go, Poetry In Motion, Remind Rewind

  • jimmyhits

    damn, look at these haters hacking your profile and posting that negativity. you got to love the haters truthlive!! Damn, i wonder how much of their day they spend thinking about you. thats awesome brother you got a real time stalker!! hahahahahha!!! keep coming hard! time will let the "truth" be told! -jimmyhits!!!

  • GODleeBarnes

    This album really was awful except for some good production

    • lostrolemodel

      really? awful? ha. Might be talking about your own album no one wants to put out. Lets be real. The album could use some improvements on emotion on certain tracks but overall rhymes were cool if not really smart and beats were sick..

    • Rick V

      really? awful? ha. Might be talking about your own album no one wants to put out. Lets be real. The album could use some improvements on emotion on certain tracks but overall rhymes were cool if not really smart and beats were sick.

    • DISENTFROMPOPULAROPINION.

      I am TruthLive, and i'm am deeply affected by all these negative reviews, time to kill myself and go the way of my so called career

    • DISENTFROMPOPULAROPINION.

      I am TruthLive, and i'm am deeply affected by all these negative reviews, time to kill myself and go the way of my so called career

  • DisentFromPopularOpinion

    This album is honest, the beats are dope, the rhymes are fresh...

    • WTF-MAN

      Wow, Hi TruthLive/ I apologize/ I mistook you for a lotta guys/ You the know the corny types/ Overly sensitive White boys who think they can rhyme/ STFU BITCH

    • DisentFromPopularOpinion

      I am grateful the internet allows an open forum for all perspectives to be expressed. Holding hate inside only makes one more hateful and angry with themselves. And so many of us NEVER get heard. Having a place to vent (or applaud) is awesome!

    • WTF-MAN

      Only a corny faggot named TruthLive would say something like that.....................

  • Really Doe

    eh. liked the ras kass track, and the bush track. not my cup of tea. i think these guys shouldve put more marketing into donwill's album than do this one.

  • WTF-MAN

    My Cock Aches For TruthLive

  • intelRebelLion

    this album is banging , crazy production ! good content- cop it

  • carloskabarlos

    I thought sonically the album sounded good. Have only listened to it once, so I haven't really dug into the content too much. Truth has a nice delivery and the album had some nice guest spots. And Jake one is easily one of the top producers in the game this year with the release of the stimulus package and this.

  • disent from

    This album is as honest as they come. The beats are dope. The lyrical content may not fit the current climate of swagger over all else, but it is a legitimate perspective for a person (artist) to have. The "rap game" is screwed up right now, and has been a long time. The pace is slow, but sonically cohesive and comfortable, and more engaging upon repeat listens. I urge the reviewer to take a few more full listens.