posted April 08, 2009 10:04:08 AM CDT | 79 comments

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To describe MIMS' [click to read] career as an uphill battle would be an understatement. While his success with the hit single "This Is Why I'm Hot" enabled him to jump-start a rap career, his debut album Music Is My Savior [click to read] suffered from providing a true-telling performance to justify his hype. When 2008 came around and MIMS was virtually nowhere to be found, fans all but posted "MIMS is missing" signs to hunt down the Washington Heights emcee.

This absence may explain the title of MIMS' sophomore disc, Guilt, and the title-track that opens up the album. Over a Soul-Gospel fused beat, he professes, "Cars, cribs, chains, finer things to entirety/when society sometimes relies on me/now poor people got they eye on me / money, power, respect creates tyranny/what a tyrant I've been, I agree/conscious burning me like over 99 degrees."

Like Music Is My Savior, MIMS conducts his first single "Move (If You Wanna)" as a way to generate more listeners on an album tailored for a more diverse audience. Produced by Da Internz, the beat is high on energy, which is the type of record MIMS sounds most comfortable rapping over. Showing a subtle but softer side, he also bodes well on a few R&B cuts, including "Love Rollercoaster," a record based in simple melodic formula, and "Be My Hustla." With the latter track featuring a vibrant hook from crooner J. Holiday that sets the tone, MIMS drives home the analogy of his girl's addictive sexual performance. While not necessarily a record ready for the club, it can certainly be used to get the mood going in other activities.

Switching gears, MIMS takes his listener on a spiritual journey with the Ky-Mani Marley-assisted "One Day." Using the record as a form of release, MIMS provides an honest performance without lyrical ferocity. Sadly, the same can't be said for the guitar-induced "Chasing Sunshine." Then, oddly pairing with Tech N9ne [click to read] on the dark "Rock 'N Rollin,'" [click to read] MIMS attempts to formulate a similar rhyme scheme comparable to GZA's 1995 Hip Hop quotable "Labels," but this time with Rock bands. While the never-ending list of legendary groups is somewhat impressive, the actual way with which they are referenced leaves the listener unsatisfied.

With that said, what Guilt seems to lack in overall content is perpetuated by MIMS inconsistency. For instance, his rhymes for "On and On" capture a humble man attempting to explain his career thus far; "He was conscious when he first spit/but now he's on that commercial shit/talking bread every verse he gets/talking about head every verse he spits/But that ain't him man, that ain't MIMS man." Then, on "Makin' Money," the New York emcee incessantly obsesses over money, and you're unsure of which MIMS to believe. This inconsistency is also highlighted on "One Last Kiss," a straight Pop record that falls flat on its face rather than showing versatility.

While MIMS has continually stated he doesn't want to be known as a ringtone rapper, this claim is thoroughly unconvincing with Guilt as he is unable to carry the album on his own shoulders, or with clarity of his musical vision. Listeners may be able to pick and choose their favored tracks, but in terms of performance, the growth between Music Is My Savior and Guilt is arguably regressive.

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