When it comes to Bone Crusher, we at least know one thing: he ain’t ever scared.
Now, the rapper who screamed his way into the charts in 2003 is back under a
new label, boxer Roy Jones Jr’s Body Head Entertainment. The move came
due to the fact that the newest rapper on Celebrity
Fit Club
; Bone Crusher was
dropped from So So Def after his
debut garnered little critical praise and no follow up success to “Never
Scared.” So, with a boxer on his side, he’s back to prove a point. The question
is, does he pack the punch?

Release the Beast starts off with a
stumble, but it manages to stay crunk. While the rhymes are unmemorable, some
of the beats actually bang. Fans of the crunk movement will certainly hear
something reminiscent of Never Scared
on “Southern Gorrillas” and “Mug On,” an
anthem to mean mugging and fighting. Sound familiar? At times, it’s too
familiar. That’s where tracks like “I’m a Hustler” get repetitive. We get it,
he’s not scared, he’s a hustler and he will fight to prove it. No surprise
punch there.

Amazingly, his real hits come when he’s not yelling about his toughness. When
he strips himself bare of all the tough talk and weak attempts at club music,
he gets down to what really makes Bone
on “This One” and “Feel It.” Instead of simply saying he hustles,
he explains why he does so. The added thought put into these tracks is
refreshing for an LP that severely lacks in thoughtful topics.

N*ggas talking about they real. But
I’ll tell you what’s real, when you don’t know when you’re getting your next
,” he rhymes on “Feel It.”

But these tracks and the beats that infrequently bump don’t really help the
cause. On Release the Beast, he seems
lost without Dupri and the famous
guests who helped out on his only hit. He’s had three years to make this album
so one would expect a lot more. The producers (Soleternity and others) do their best to salvage some hope, but the
efforts seem wasted here. Roy Jones
doesn’t even appear to lend a hand on this release which leaves listeners
wondering if this is the last Bone

Getting called a one-hit wonder doesn’t exactly add to his reputation. Will he
be dropped again? Will he recapture the glory of his sole hit after appearing
on reality TV? Who knows, but as of now, with albums like Release the Beast, he should probably finally be scared. Another
drop from a label may just be the knock out he’s been avoiding for years.