Straight out of the south state of Georgia comes Heath McNease, the newest signing to 7 Spin Records, home of experimental rappers Pigeon John and Playdough, newcomers SevenGlory, alt rockers Red Umbrella, and the witty pop rock of All Star United. McNease has a similar rap style to that of Playdough, which makes no surprise that he was signed to the same label. In the past few years, acoustic and experimental hip hop has become increasingly popular, particularly due to John Reuben's successful transition into the genre.
From the very beginning of McNease's debut, you'll hear that you're in for a different kind of hip hop. The rapper uses every instrument you can think of on this record, from horns to beat makers to guitars to drums. McNease seems to keep his style intact throughout the entire fifteen track album, and while some of the choruses are repetitive and annoying ("Down To The River," the trivial "Nintendo Thumb," the slow beats of "Farewell My Dignity," and "Love Me"), his lyrics are quite straight-forward and clever. Some of the album's highlights include the very-Playdough-esque "Follow Your Leader," the high-powered "Rumors," the cheesy, yet insightful "Good Samaritan Get Down" featuring Playdough himself, and the beat-driven "If You Can." Most of the other tracks seem to just be mediocre at best. In keeping true to Playdough's fashion, the beats are very raw and don't seem to have much production work done to them at all, which sometimes makes for hit and miss songs.
Overall, Heath McNease has a considerable amount of talent, unlike last year's fiasco duo Fresh Digress, whose debut showcased a considerable lack of such talent. He is one of the more insightful new rap artists to emerge as of late. The cheesy songs here are bearable, and the highlights are definitely worth the due they're given, but may not be worth enough for the dip in your pocket this week.- Review date: 4/22/07, written by Justin Mabee
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