2-1/2 stars -- If you don't give a damn, gon' pass it up
Anthony Rupert | Milwaukee, WI | 05/11/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Sean Paul, one half of the YoungBloodZ (yes, THAT Sean Paul), seemed to have a verse on everyone's R&B song back in 2006. Even so, it didn't do much for his own sales, as YoungBloodZ' last album Ev'rybody Know Me didn't sell all that well. And after months of speculation about his having a solo album, he decided to release a mixtape, Hood Anthems.
Even though J-Bo isn't here (well, he is and he isn't; more on that later), you still can't really call this a solo album because every song features someone (except for the intro, that is). And this is yet another case of most of the guests being unknowns and then after hearing them, you wish they STAYED unknown. The only name I recognize is Lloyd, who delivers the chorus to an already uninteresting "They Ain't Ish". But the wackest guests would have to be Taliban Bundy (???) and Kashflow; check Kashflow on "Ballin Baby" where he says something about him not being Master P but he's still `bout it `bout it. (Hey Kash, 1997 called.)
Speaking of that song, most of the tracks are even too manufactured for radio standards, like "Icy White Tees", "Like This" and "I'm Hood". The ode to freaky girls, "I Like What I See", is skippable, as is the obligatory rock crossover, "Rockstar" (and why is that song title censored on the album? The last time I checked, "rockstar" wasn't profanity). And this is another one of those mixtapes where the end of the album feature songs taken from other people's mixtapes, which don't even feature Sean P. Surprisingly, J-Bo's two selections "Going Hard" and "Fam Game Muzik" are lackluster, and whoever recorded "Get Dat Money Hoe" needs better sound equipment because you can hardly hear it.
True, Sean Paul is one of those rappers that are overexposed and underexposed at the same time, but Hood Anthems is not a good representation of his talent. Considering that this album came out a year ago and this is just now the first review for it, I doubt anyone cares about it anyway, so let it be.