Hustla par excellence*, Cassidy
More importantly, it proved to his doubters that he was not going soft. Think of a slightly more refined "Grindin' " when you think of "I'm a Hustla." The drums are so rigid it sounds like the record's producer, Swizz Beatz, had a whole African tribe in the studio pounding away all night. And the lyrics are so unapologetically immersed in the ghetto's sludge that the record's ability to compete with the soft radio fluff that's been so omnipresent is testament to Cass' appeal. It also proves he doesn't need R. Kelly singing on the hook to give him his biggest hit record.
-S. Reid of MTV News on Cassidy's "I'm A Hustla"
I should say that I generally like Reid's writing (What little of it I've knowingly read. I tend not to pay attention to bylines.) which is why I was so suprised to see his byline attached to this masquerading press release. Maybe he's just a super duper fan. In the miniscule time I've been writing I have also been overly effusive on occasion (when the artist tells you he'd give the album a lower rating than you gave it you've gone too far). But I still won't apologize; The Vault 1.5 still gets heaviest rotation.
But beyond the syrupy praise this simile is killing me:
...it sounds like the record's producer, Swizz Beatz, had a whole African tribe in the studio pounding away all night.
...slightly more refined "Grindin'...
Dude, you're wildin'. That's blasphemous. "Grindin'" beyond banged. No discussion (and the remix? Pa it don't get no more ghetto than that. Respect to Lithonia's best for putting me up on it back in the day when we were young). The comparison doesn't work. I don't care how many JT collabos The Clipse do in the future their stuff resonates on higher and lower frequencies in a way that this kid Cassidy's stuff can't and won't. Ever. And I saw that ole battle with Free and eff it Philly "Put on a beat" Freeway is still light years better as an artist. Punchlines are so played.
And with regard to this assertion:
and the lyrics are so unapologetically immersed in the ghetto's sludge that the record's ability to compete with the soft radio fluff...
Cassidy IS radio fluff. His lyrics: bombastic, cliche, facile. His delivery: unconvincing. But I will give him this: the hustla dance is cute especially when middle schoolers at the bus stop on Chicago's Magnificent Mile spontaneously break out with it as you wait for reasonably priced transport to your homegirl's hotel for a little conference. So much so that your tired broke ass smiles. Hard.
*Hustling proficiency determined by ability to convince fans and media professionals that despite all indications he is not wack.