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Obie Trice - Second Round's On Me (Shady/Interscope)

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Obie Trice - Second Round's On Me (Shady/Interscope)

Obie Trice - Second Round's on Me © Shady/Interscope

Gone are the days when getting shot was a career-aborting tragedy. These days, a bullet to the head means less work for the PR department and more soundscans. So, after Obie Trice was grazed on December 31st, 2005, any label executive in their right business mind knows to waste no time in releasing Obie's second album. Thankfully, Obie has always harbored a fair level of creativity where a bullet now resides. As such, he doesn't get all "I got shot 9 times" on Second Round's on Me.

Obie opens up the bar with "Wake Up," a spiel inspired by the recent sweep of violence that claimed the lives of three Detroit emcees in less than a year (including Proof). By the time he emerges from the podium, however, guns are drawn on the Eminem-laced "Violent" and "Kill Me a Mutha." Maybe, O's true intention is to prove that no matter how many lives are wasted, street violence goes on uninhibited. Still, he manages to come across as being part of the problem rather than a solution.

Trice is at his finest on the hard-hitting "Cry Now," where he spews multi-syllabic, wordplay-heavy bars. Over Sick Notes' thumping bass romps, O.Trice spits: "This ain’t Detroit Red, you won’t X me out Malcolm/My exodus would never be from a violent outcome/I turn exorcist on n****s with extra clips/Exit on my ethics is no longer present/ X-rays said I was this close to heaven/So, for future record I stay this close to a weapon.� Similarly, "Snitch," his potent single with Akon, and the Van Helling-sampled sensation, "Wanna Know" signal Trice's transition from the cartoonish Slim Shady accomplice that once underwhelmed with "Got Some Teeth" (from Cheers) to a sole survivor.

Credit also goes to Eminem for ditching the hand-holding that overshadowed Obie's debut, thus, allowing O to hold his own on Second Round's on Me. That said, Em still leaves fingerprints on the boards, notably on "Jamaican Girl" and "Lay Down." The former is an ambitious attempt to craft the obligatory club track, while the latter suffers from banal production. Despite Em's overwhelming presence on the boards (eight tracks!), the best beatsmithing come from guest producers Trell ("All of My Life") and Jonathan "JR" Rotem ("Ghetto," "Mama," and "Obie Story"). Worse still, Obie's shot at a double-time flow on "24's" and "Out of State" falls flat on the face.

However, when O eventually coasts back into his comfort zone--rhyming about street strife and griping about ghetto blues--on the Trey Songz-assisted "Mama" and the heartwrenching album closer, "My Life," all is well again. Second Round's on Me would have been a stronger effort without the plethora of fillers. That's not saying that it's a weak release. In fact, there are enough gems here to keep your 'rewind' button fully employed. Still, Trice fails to reach his maximum potential the second time around.

Top Tracks

  • "Cry Now"
  • "Snitch"
  • "Mama"
  • "Wanna Know"

Second Round's on Me Tracklist

Track Listing

  1. Intro
  2. Wake Up
  3. Violent
  4. Wanna Know
  5. Lay Down
  6. Snitch ft. Akon
  7. Cry Now
  8. Ballad of Obie Trice
  9. Jamaican Girl ft. Brick and Lace
  10. Kill Me a Mutha
  11. Out of State
  12. All of My Life ft. Nate Dogg
  13. Ghetto ft. Trey Songz
  14. There They Go ft. Big Herc, Eminem and Trick Trick
  15. Mama ft. Trey Songz
  16. 24s
  17. Everywhere I Go ft. 50 Cent
  18. Obie Story
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