BeatMart Recordings has been home to many up and coming rap/hip-hop artists for the past few years, and Willie Will is one of the newest artists signed. Lately, the record label has been on a hit-and-miss routine, with only a few releases having much staying power. Last year saw the debut of powerhouse Soul P, and now Willie Will is out to prove he can keep up with his label mate.
Will's debut, Reflection, is a very lyrically-poignant recording as a whole, with each song showing the rapper's talent in writing and delivery. The only thing that tends to ruin this, however, is the album's sound. Many of the beats are quite repetitive, as evidenced on highlights like "Move Somethin'," the declaration of Christ's followers in "Say So," and "We Don't Back Down," which features none other than Soul P. himself. These songs, among others laced throughout the whole album, are very good lyrically, yet musically they seem to miss the mark. With many of these same songs clocking in at well over three and a half minutes, the message is lost in a constant and rather distracting bass line. Willie Will also tries his hand at R&B flavored tracks, like "Honor You," the jazzy feel of "Get Up," and the album's closer "God's Been Good." However, it seems the rapper's lines happen to slur somewhat during these slower tracks, and it gives the impression that he should stick with the faster, more straight rap oriented tracks. Another problem for almost all of the songs here is that the choruses are very overused, along with being monotonous, and make up about half of each song it seems, which tends to ruin what otherwise could be a great track.
Overall, Reflection is a decent BeatMart release, but it doesn't live up to its label mate predecessors. Big hip-hop and rap fans will likely find a lot here to appreciate, but the public eye may think differently. Maybe we'll need to wait a while longer to see more good come out of the rap label, but for now, I'd pass on this new release from Willie Will.- Review date: 6/8/07, written by Justin Mabee
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