Obie Trice - Cheers

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The first thing that struck me about the well known asshole Mr. Trice back when he was selling dope, homeless and trying to get his DATS back was his delivery; raw and abrasive.

The first thing that struck me about the well known asshole Mr. Trice back when he was selling dope, homeless and trying to get his DATS back was his delivery; raw and abrasive. His 'I don't give a fuck mentality' was not all that different from another 313 emcee that was making some noise around that time. So here we are, 2003; Shady Records has to two most popular rappers in the world and Obie Trice is looking to be the next to stake his claim as a superstar in this rap game.

With production from Dr. Dre, Timbaland and Eminem, some may argue that Obie just has to show up to go platinum. I say, the pressure is on cause when people like that put their faith in you, it is time to show and prove. While he may be an Average Man, Obie quickly proves he is no average rapper. Cheers is certainly cause for celebration for Obie's flawless execution. With some nicely sequenced drums and handclaps Lady is one of the albums best songs. The reason is not the beat, but the producer...who also happens to rhymes a little. Eminem rips through two of four show stealing verses while riding the beat like he is seat belted in. How is it he continues to get better? Don't get twisted though, Obie is no slouch and he proves just how good he is on the next song. Don't Come Down is a touching detailing of his life while paying homage to his mother. Follow My Life is similarly on the autobiographical tip but is lesser all around.

The catchy single Got Some Teeth is not the only song built for banging in the clubs. Bad Bitch is some classic Timbaland steez and is bound to get the place jumping. Hands On You, fueled by Em's production and hook could likely do some damage too. With Busta Rhymes featured most would expect Oh to fall in the same category but not so. However, the song is so dope it should be illegal. The same could be said for Look In My Eyes as Obie rocks over an incredible Dre offering. Never Forget Ya shares a similar vibe but packs much more potent content.

As Eminem supplies a candidate for verse of the year on the Outro, D-12 also offers their 2 cents. Ironically, the album closes out embodying one of the albums few weak points - too many guests. By the end of the album it is abundantly clear that Obie is no joke on the mic, and the long guest list wasn't necessary. Nevertheless, Cheers needs to be saluted. It is an excellent debut for Obie and he finds a great balance of radio friendly raps and hardcore hip-hop. While he isn't gonna move 50 numbers, Cheers is the superior album. I'll drink to that.

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