Release The Beast
Release the Beast starts off with a stumble, but it manages to stay crunk. While the rhymes are unmemorable, some of the beats actually bang. Fans of the crunk movement will certainly hear something reminiscent of Never Scared on "Southern Gorrillas" and "Mug On," an anthem to mean mugging and fighting. Sound familiar? At times, it's too familiar. That's where tracks like "I'm a Hustler" get repetitive. We get it, he's not scared, he's a hustler and he will fight to prove it. No surprise punch there.
Amazingly, his real hits come when he's not yelling about his toughness. When he strips himself bare of all the tough talk and weak attempts at club music, he gets down to what really makes Bone Crusher on "This One" and "Feel It." Instead of simply saying he hustles, he explains why he does so. The added thought put into these tracks is refreshing for an LP that severely lacks in thoughtful topics.
"N*ggas talking about they real. But I'll tell you what's real, when you don't know when you're getting your next meal," he rhymes on "Feel It."
But these tracks and the beats that infrequently bump don't really help the cause. On Release the Beast, he seems lost without Dupri and the famous guests who helped out on his only hit. He's had three years to make this album so one would expect a lot more. The producers (Soleternity and others) do their best to salvage some hope, but the efforts seem wasted here. Roy Jones doesn't even appear to lend a hand on this release which leaves listeners wondering if this is the last Bone Crusher LP.
Getting called a one-hit wonder doesn't exactly add to his reputation. Will he be dropped again? Will he recapture the glory of his sole hit after appearing on reality TV? Who knows, but as of now, with albums like Release the Beast, he should probably finally be scared. Another drop from a label may just be the knock out he's been avoiding for years.