Twista‘s Chicago pioneering and career longevity are nothing to ignore, but even die-hard fans admit that they longingly wait for him to recreate the magic from his 1997 classic, Adrenaline Rush. A short-lived affiliation with the then-dominant Roc-A-Fella Records and collaborations with heavyweights like Kanye West and R. Kelly have provided for a dope song here and there, but they haven’t quite returned him to the promised land as far as memorable full-lengths go. Twista’s new disc, The Perfect Storm, continues this pattern.
When The Perfect Storm revisits the vigor of its author’s glory days, it’s a sight for sore eyes. Even though the age-old “been coming with fast lyrics for years” boasts on “Up To Speed” feel redundant at this point, the Chi-Town rhyme-slinger still showcases a clinic with his signature Thompson Machine Gun flows, with intricate rhyme patterns and punchlines to boot. Other highlights include the aptly-titled “Back To The Basics” and “2012,” which sees Twista employing another ominous backdrop as he and singer Tia London deliberate how they’ll react if that year marks the end of the world.
When Twista abandons his own script of fast rhymes and gloomy backdrops, he sticks to other uninventive blueprints with mixed results. The Perfect Storm has a crop of predictable songs aimed at women. Even though “Make A Movie” is formulaic, it wins with its cheesy porno references, a solid Chris Brown chorus, and a silky instrumental. “Sweating” is also solid despite its lack of creativity, but by the time the Ray J-assisted sex cut “Call The Police” (trust us, it’s about exactly what you think it is) comes along, the shtick is tired—all three songs are virtually interchangeable with each other. It seems like the only reason that all three songs are there is to take up space—and that’s disappointing on an album that only has 11 tracks, especially when Twista has shown the ability to drop quality girl songs as recently as Category F5‘s “Wetter.” He continues to unnecessarily pander to other audiences with the prototypical Waka Flocka Flame-featured “Hands Up, Lay Down” and the drug-pushing “Cocaine,” with Yo Gotti. And “I Do,” which sounds like an incapable clone of Ludacris‘ “My Chick Bad,” just adds insult to injury. Fortunately, “3 Minutes of Murder” ends the disc on a good note when Twista considerably slows down his rhymes while still slaughtering a guitar-fueled beat with lines like “You ain’t gotta tell me, I know I spit bars sick / Email, anthrax flow, spit arsenic / GMG, I throw it up, I’m car sick / Cut raw dope, these niggas cut garbage.” Sadly, one of Twista’s most exciting songs made in years, the Raekwon-assisted “The Heat” fell to only appear on the album’s Best Buy version, short-changing fans excited by soulful street anthem.
During The Perfect Storm‘s best moments, Twista showcases his specialty. But at its worst, it seems unnecessarily stick to the 2000s formula of failing outside of his range just to make different songs for everybody. At this point in his career, it’s difficult to say what the perfect storm for a memorable Twista album would consist of. But hopefully, he can continue to at least serve his fans a portion of what has made them so loyal for the past 13 years.