Juvenile

Reality Check

In the past, New Orleans's Terius Gray, who's over 30 but still Juvenile, has cared more about coochie than about current events; "Back That Azz Up" doesn't exactly qualify as a political statement. It's little wonder, then, that "Get Ya Hustle On," a Reality Check track about the Katrina debacle, is such a memorably weird hybrid of righteous anger and thug wisdom. Juvenile rips Mayor Ray Nagin, FEMA and Fox News, among others -- but he also urges destitute locals to "save up your money and find out who got 'em for ten a key." After all, not every crackhead in the bayou drowned, right?

Unfortunately, Juvie doesn't expand on this platform elsewhere on Reality; the disc consists of primarily party bangers ("Pop U," with Fat Joe and Ludacris), street romances ("Addicted," featuring Brian McKnight) and heavy-breathing horndoggery ("Loose Booty," which has nothing to do with pirates). Most tracks are entertainingly bouncy but lyrically predictable -- a far cry from the unique economic proposal Juvie espouses in "Hustle." Call it the New Deal.

 
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