It’s official. The evolution has begun—there’s a new breed of rap artists hailing from the ATL. The city that once produced artists like Goodie Mob and Outkast—incredibly gifted, conscious lyricists with a penchant for delivering carefully penned messages to the streets has given birth to a group of new artists. In general, their intent is the same, but their approach is just a bit different, it’s just a bit more…street.
Starting with artists like Field Mob (actually from Albany) and continuing with T.I. and Killer Mike, now Bone Crusher can be added to the list of artists with a gritty way of saying something relevant. Commanding attention with his chant-and-yell lead single “Never Scared,” Crusher exhibited a glimpse of his larger-than-life persona that seeps its way into virtually every song on the album. Although it’s apparent that his loyalty is to the back areas of the ghetto with songs like the bouncy-grim “Back Up,” “Grippin’ the Grain” and “Puttin’ In Work” featuring Mississippi producer/rapper David Banner, Crusher easily flips into a calmer, reflective mode on several tracks. On these cuts, he utilizes his keen insight to carry the song, further demonstrating his versatility.
“Hate Ourselves” featuring Goodie Mob (minus Cee-Lo) finds Crusher delivering a sing-songy flow over a bass heavy track with sleek horns. Undoubtedly, Goodie has always found the most shine on reflective tracks like this one, and here, Gipp and Khujo make the best showing with their heartfelt deliveries. Other notables include “Peaches & Cream” as Crusher slips into pimp mode with a slick flow and “Ghetto Song” featuring Lil Pete of D.S.B. “The Wall” featuring Baby D and Chris Hardnet stands out on the 17-track collection, with its melodic acoustic guitars which Crusher comfortably flips.
Although there are some mishaps on the album (at times the production is lacking and his desire to “sing” his hooks get a bit redundant) Crusher has efficiently grabbed the “attnechun” of listeners with his debut. As he would say, it’s vainglorious baby.