Since his first release, “Runnin’ Off at Da Mouth, in 1991, Twista has been doing exactly what the album title suggest. While consistently spitting rapid-fire lyrics, he landed himself in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest rapper. Throughout his fourteen-year career, the Chicago native has always had the respect of his peers and fellow emcees but commercial success had always eluded him. It was not until his 2004 release of “Kamikaze” that Twista enjoyed the Platinum fruits of his long years of labor.
With an expected release date of October 4, 20005, the man who has been labeled as the “Comeback Kid,” is back with his new album, “The Day After.”
On “The Day After” I attended the official listening party at the Boom Boom Room studios in Burbank, CA, I had a chance to reflect on what I had experienced the previous day. In the midst of all the Hollywood networking and finger licking from the chicken and ribs that was being served, there was actually some music that needed to be heard.
After entering the dimly lit main studio with a few more of my fellow press people, we were joined by Twista and his entourage. Exuding a quiet confidence, Twista and his associates assured us that we were about to hear what they called, “good quality music.”
With a full stomach and open mind, I was ready to listen.
Not sticking to his normal format, the windy city lyricist shows his versatility on tracks like “Get It How You Live,” where he slows down his flow. On this Scott Storch produced banger he spits with an arrogant flare when he says, “My neck on bling, wrist on chill/ standin’ on the corner, steady trying to make a meal/ when it come to hustlin’ get it how you live/ I’m on the come up so fuck how you feel.” Speaking of feelings, Mr. Kamikaze gives us a feel of that same sound that took him to platinum status on songs like “Girl Tonight.” This collaboration with new R&B crooner, Trey Songz is already getting love across the country with its classic Ready For The World vibe. It seems like these days Jigga is not the only one to give us “bling like the Neptune sound.” On tracks like “Lavish” and “When I Get Home,” Twista seeks out the vocal assistance of Esquire’s best-dressed man, Pharrell. Not only do we get the classic clean sound of Neptune produced tracks, we also get a bounce element that caters to Twista’s melodic wordiness.
With the current success of Houston artists such as Mike Jones, Slim Thug, and Paul Wall, it is no surprise that we get a taste of the screwed and chopped sound that has put H-Town on the map. “Holdin’ Down The Game,” will definitely have a few dirty south brethren sittin’ sideways. Although most of world may disagree with me, I think the album loses its focus on songs like, “Get Down Hit The Floor.” This DJ Smurf produced track featuring Pitbull is guaranteed to be a Miami club banger but I think it’s too Ying Yangish for a emcee of Twista’s caliber. The David Banner produced “Diamonds In My Watch Piece,” sounds like a twisted version of TI’s “Rubberband Man.” Again, I think this joint is not really needed on the album and it lacks the soul that is felt throughout the project.
Twista definitely shows his flexibility but he brings back home to Chi town on joints like “Chocolate Fee’s & Redbones” where he reunites with Chicago native Johnny P. Not stopping there with the hometown love; in house producer, Cuzo samples R Kelly’s voice on “I’m A Winner,” where Twista returns to old form and shows us that he is still Guinness Book’s number one rapper. Ironically on song entitled “Do Wrong,” Lil Kim joins Twista over an Al Green sample where they tell tales about how love makes you do wrong. Trust me when I say that Lil Kim’s cell mates in the Philly detention center, where she is serving her year and a day sentence, will be quite impressed with her lyrical prowess on this joint. When it comes to lyricism, the Westside of Chicago would be proud of their son on the Luther Vandross sampled track, “If Only For One Night.” Here Twista opens up and tells us about his experience with Hip Hop as if he is serenading his microphone. But hold up people, this joint my only be available on the bonus edition of the album.
Overall, Twista serenades us with a slew of the old and the new on this album. He shows versatility while remaining consistent. He exudes confidence while remaining humble. With a few other surprises that I didn’t mention and the ones I gave away, the album is well put together. A lot of the music today could be considered the hip-hop equivalent of fast food, but Twista serves up a pretty good meal. I’m sure the success of “Kamikaze” will be hard to match, but with a release date of October 4, 2005, we can only be sure “The Day After.”