As a frequent collaborator with Eminem and the rest of the Detroit rap scene, Obie Trice always seems to pleasantly surprise me. He sounds more laid-back and down to earth than any other rapper out there. Perhaps it’s due to his staying in Detroit for his entire career, but Trice never seemed to get inside of his own head.
His newest album, Bottoms Up just dropped the other day, and it features a number of familiar collaborators. This is his fourth career album, his most recent being 2009’s Special Reserve, a collaboration with the producer MoSS.
He begins the album with “Bottoms Up/Intro”, a track where he basically thanks his listeners, friends, collaborators and lucky stars in general. It’s a laid back track without much ego. It’s got probably one of the best beats on the album. It’s simple, just a drum kit, piano and synths but it has a sway to it that just bumps. It sets the tone for the rest of the album, where he employs the use of his fellow Detroit rappers and producers.
I get that Trice wanted some star power on his album, as that brings more attention to his work, but Eminem’s guest appearance on “Richard” doesn’t do him much good. Eminem recycles some old lines from his 8 Mile and Slim Shady days, while his fresh lyrics turn stale rather quickly. Sounding constantly pissed off (par for the course, I suppose) He takes away from Trice’s more laid-back attitude without adding worthwhile content.
The production of the album really shouldn’t go unnoticed. While everything might not be perfect, Trice’s producers (Dr. Dre being the best known) laid down some pretty solid tracks. “Petty” is really high energy, but (ironically) lacks anything to hold onto beyond that.
Altogether, the album won’t either make or break Obie Trice. It’s got some nice ideas, while others are more half-baked. It’s a good effort from the rapper, but in order for him to really step up his game, maybe he needs to get out of Detroit.
2.5 / 5 bars
Obie Trice – “Bottoms Up/Intro”
Obie Trice – “Spend The Day” (featuring Drey Skonie)
Obie Trice - “Petty”