Very unique and emotional album
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 12/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Following the success of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's "E. 1999 Eternal," their friends and Mo Thug Family affiliates Poetic Hustla'z released their debut "Trials and Tribulations" in 1997. This is an album I really like and think is one of the greatest Bone related projects ever recorded. It's really a shame that it was promoted so poorly, because I think this is such a great record. The trio of Tony Tone, Mo!Hart and Boogy Nikke are three emotional, talented, and lyrical rappers from Cleveland. You can hear some hints of Bone influence in their flow, which sometimes borders on the sing-song delivery Bone is so famous for, but really Poetic Hustla'z are an original and creative act, and sometimes their style reminds me a little of early Outlawz music. The production is always excellent. Usually, there is a subdued feeling aided by piano and strings on most tracks, leading to a thoughtful, contemplative tone. They are very emotional MCs, pouring a lot of feeling into their lyrics on most of the tracks, and they often sound depressed, so it's very interesting to hear their philosophies. Some appearances come from Krayzie Bone and Flesh-N-Bone, as well as some female R&B singers for some hooks. It's fairly short at just under 50 minutes, but that may be why it's so consistent. I highly recommend "Trials and Tribulations," this is an embarrassingly slept-on and really great album.
The album begins with "Intro & Insanity," where Poetic Hustla'z collaborate with Flesh-N-Bone to speak of ghetto paranoia and life over a great beat. "Don't Trust a B...." speaks of women and troubles, it's probably the worst song on the album but is still actually pretty good. "Day & Night" speaks of the troubles of trying to make ends meet, the hook and beat are good. I really like "Parlay With a Hustla," the beat is funky and soulful and the MCs match it well with good verses. "Time Will Reveal" is an emotional and deeper song. "Cross Me and You Die" is a little angrier and threatening. "Weekend Buzz" is a classic, an absolutely gorgeous ode to smoking and relaxing. Bone Thugs themselves never made a weed song as good as this. The soaring saxophone is perfect on this song, making it sound soulful and happy, and the raps from Tony, Hart, Boogy, and Krayzie Bone are joyful just like the excellent beat. This is followed by the title track, a depressed yet optimistic look at life with excellent production and singing. I also really love "Smilin' in Your Face," a song about well-wishing haters that has maybe the best production, thick with upbeat synths and piano, and the chorus always makes me yell along. The album finishes with the conscious "Searchin' 4 Peace," followed by an instrumental of "Time Will Reveal."
"Trials and Tribulations" is a well-produced, emotional rap album that showcases the best of three talented MCs. It's sad that this album was so badly marketed and sold so poorly, because unfortunately they never made another album. This album is still in print as far as I know, so while it's available I suggest listeners purchase it while they can. Fans of Bone Thugs will certainly enjoy this, and I also suggest it to hip hop fans in general because this is a really enjoyable record."
J. Storm | The Abyss | 06/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album by the Mo Thugs offshoots is pretty good. Unfortunately, it got slept on heavily due to bad marketing, and it didn't even go gold. That may be one reason Poetic has left Mo Thugs to give it a go on their own (along with several other former Mo Thugs artists). This also may be why the hauntingly eerie "Still Waters" album by Graveyard Shift will never be released. Although the death of group member Tombstone played a role in that, it's still unfortunate that there's not a big enough fan base for this great album to be released.
As far as "Trials & Tribulations," this is a rather short album, with only 11 tracks. But it's a nice collection of smooth beats and good lyrical content. Flow-wise, PH could've used a little work, but alongside Bone, anybody's flow would sound just average. Speaking of Bone, Flesh, Layzie, Wish, and Krayzie make appearances on "Intro & Insanity," "Day & Night," "Parlay With A Hustla," & "Weekend Buzz" respectively. These are definitely four of the strongest cuts on the album, thanks mostly to the guests. "Weekend Buzz" uses a classic sample and blends it into a smooth weed track. Krayzie drops a great verse on there. He also produces much of the album, showcasing his versatility as an artist.
Overall, if you're a fan of Bone or Mo Thugs, you should definitely own this CD. If not, you should still give it a listen. You just might like what you hear."
You got me hustlin' Day & Night, oh baby!
Andie Funk | Livermore, CA USA | 01/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is slammin'! The beats are nice and has lots of bass. The album features Bone Thugs so you know it's gotta be good. The lyrics were very well thought out as well. I put this CD in my car and it hasn't left the player yet! You know it's all MO THUG!"