Trae Tha Truth, Evil Empire, & DJ Folk - Can't Ban Tha Truth

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The bulk of the album is still charged with enough emotion and visceral honesty to tap into the listener, with Cadillac-ready production ready for H-town's I45.

After a lengthy career centered around creating positive events in the Houston Texas, community, Trae Tha Truth's 2009 annual "Trae Day" was marred by violence in the crowd. During an interview on Houston’s lone Hip Hop radio station, KBXX, 97.9FM (The Box), The Madd Hatta Morning Show on-air personality, Nnete Inyangumia, suggested that the violence in Trae’s music indirectly contributed to the violence on “Trae Day.” The ABN emcee responded with four derogatory bars about the morning show host on his 2009 street album, The Incredible Truth, to which The Box (and owner Radio One) responded to by banning Trae’s music from it’s airwaves. The lawsuits, the petitions, the severed relationships that followed in the aftermath of the “Trae Day” calamity provide the backdrop for Trae The Truth’s newest release, Can’t Ban The Truth.

On Can’t Ban The Truth, Trae is at his best when speaking plainly about his ban from The Box and the lack of support he’s received from fellow Houston rhymers. “I keep it loyal but these niggas only loyal to they self / I did it out of love / They only did it for they self” he raps over the thumping bass line on the Young Jeezy-assisted “I Got This,” then again on standout track “The Radio Won’t Play This” featuring Wyclef Jean. 'Clef’s acoustic guitar sound scape provides a sonic detour from the mostly smoke and ride ready production found throughout the rest of the project as Trae kicks his most telling bars on the incident:

“People asking where’s the support from other Houston rappers / I told them nowhere and truthfully it ain’t a factor / It’s to the point when I’m around they act like they don’t see me / But I’m the streets and everything that cross has gotta see me / Instead of standing for The truth they worried about getting they record played knowing nothing guarantees them they’re record stays / What’s kind of funny niggas know I’m getting fucked over / but they act like they don’t see nothing / quick to roll the fuck over.”

Trae harnesses his inner 2Pac on “Please Respect It”, taking it’s hook from Makaveli’s “Krazy” with “Last year was a hard one / but life goes on / Hold my head against the wall learning right from wrong”, as the corpulent voiced lyricist further addresses the tumultuous year: “Maybe that’s why they’re out here banning my records / Check it / you ain’t gotta like the truth but please respect it”.  

While Trae’s commentary on the Radio One situation is littered throughout the mixtape -- most notably with interludes from Pimp C, Pimp C’s mother, Yung Turk (from jail), Lil Duval and the faux news report on the incident that opens the album -- in no way is it the only topic covered. “Bad Don’t Seem So Wrong” features an inspired verse from Lupe Fiasco as the two wax poetic on the hustler’s struggle to find positive answers while living a negative lifestyle. The R. Kelly, “I Wish” sampled, “Still My Nigga” is a tribute to fallen homies, and “Deuces & Trae’s” featuring Young Buck and Big Pokey, with it’s chopped and screwed hook and ominous production immediately screams quintessential Houston.  

From mic to plug, Can’t Ban The Truth is a solid offering from Trae. The disappointment felt because of the “Trae Day” shootings and his subsequent battle with The Box resonates throughout, turning the mixtape into a therapeutic release for the Houston rapper. While the content is diversified enough to still appeal to fans of previous offerings, the focus -- from the title to the interludes -- is undeniable. CBTT falters with generic mainstream production on “General” and “Gangsta 4 Life” (featuring Rihanna), a handful of one time listens like “Hood Nights” and “Cop A Drop” and “Tear” that make it nearly impossible to run through the entire project without pressing skip and whenever Trae unleashes his constipated tongue twister delivery that rarely flows on beat.  As a result, overall replay value is quickly put in jeopardy.  

However, the bulk of the album is still charged with enough emotion and visceral honesty to tap into the listener and the Cadillac-ready production will keep heads nodding up and down Houston’s I-45. Given his philanthropic efforts throughout the area, providing assistance however he can to those most in need, regardless of his current Radio One ban, “you ain’t gotta like the Truth / but please respect it."

Purchase Can't Ban the Truth by Trae Tha Truth

17 Comments

  • truezer

    this album changed my life

  • hell 2 the nah

    yall gassed, seriously

  • Realtlk78

    Mixtape street album whatever Trae went in. This ain't that snitch rap that 50 do, or that gimmicky Eminem shit, or that fake ass sneering that Ice Cube is doing or Kanye West fruity ass. THIS is real rap. Trae Krino Freddie Gibbs Big KRIT Jcole REAL RAP

  • Mo city

    im suprised that light up remix wasnt' on the tape.

  • mt oaks

    trae went in on that cop a drop. it was worth 10 bucks and the download, this shit is a instant classic!

  • houston

    alot betta then streets advocate.

  • jack

    Best mixtape i heard all year.

  • TizzlyBear

    This mixtape is so hard. "Cop a Drop" is one of the better tracks on there, that's swangin' music for real. The whole mixtapes rides definitely something to bump until his album comes out (which I know that ban is slowing it down and he's too real to apologize). Trae spits with raw emotion it reminds me of how Joe Budden does on his tracks, a lot of artists try but you really feel it Trae and Buddens.

  • Mistah_BH

    What the fuck? Everybody that describes "Cop A Drop" as a one time listen must have no idea what good music is. Normally I accept everybodie's taste and opinion, but that is more than blasphemy.

  • Anonymous

    Better than Chamillonair, Paul Wall and Z-Ro combined they wack

  • tru

    This Album Is Wanna the best mixtapes ever made i swear,Lryically Crazy & full of Substance, just wow

  • lonestar_playa

    i just streamed dis whole album n i got to say dat ain't one song on here i skipped. to each is own but goddamn dis gotta b one of da realest tapes to hit da streets! wut mo' do yall want from Trae? dis whole tape got social commentary all ova it. yall sum picky ass fans of hip hop nowadayz i swear.......4 out 5 goddamn it...........can't ban the truth!!

  • 718rob

    Trae's funny, cuz I don't even feel like he makes albums anymore. These shits are mixtapes for sale, which is a shame, cuz I liked his rap a lot stuff better. trae nice, but z-ro way better as far as the group go.

  • Dynasty

    They are right I mean 3 and a half stars are too many. This is a subpar trae album. Come on it's not even close to streets advocate

    • lonestar_playa

      yea u right.......its two totally different mixtapes playa of course it ain't close to it! street's advocate wuz he went in wit sum cold ass freestyles ova sum jacked beatz. Can't Ban The Truth he had sum original production wit sum deeper topics wit NO DJ DROPS. i'd say dis wuz ahead of Street's Advocate but everybody got dey own taste playa

  • SamaanAshrawi

    How are you going to say that "Cop a Drop" is a one-time listen? Ridiculous