Pop Life

Rotation: Plies' Da REAList

Plies, Florida's 32-year-old snarl with a rapper hidden underneath, is nothing if not a work horse. Over the last 16 months he's released three(!) full-length albums: The Real Testament ("Shawty" feat T-Pain), Definition of Real ("Bust it Baby Pt. 2"), and, most recently, Da REAList. (That's three more than Q-Tip released between 2000 and 2008, in case you're curious.) The immediate concern, then, becomes obvious: With an abundance of content created, will his message not wane in substance? The answer is a resounding "no." Because Plies, despite what Vibe would have you believe, is shit.

His is a brainless brand of rap, mostly devoid of relevancy or coherent thought. His mouthy sound, which accomplishes a perpetual howling of verse even in its most discreet form, is effective - that point is inarguable. But too often it's marginalized by bumbling attempts at ilicit description ("Take your time gettin' undressed, while I take the diamonds off my neck, 'cause I'm finna get in yo chest" - "Spend the Night") or redundant Goon rhetoric. (See: Every song.)

"Family Straight"

His want for lyricism is an impediment no number of auto-tuned Billboard-toppers can supplement - you can only rhyme "wet" with "undressed" so many times, you know. But Nielsen SoundScan will argue otherwise. Nielsen SoundScan will tell you that since its release last month, Da REAList has moved 114,000-plus units. That's the equivalent of selling 475,000,000 units in 1994, I assume. So, solely out of respect for his large listenership, the remainder of this review will respond in a manner more in line with the succinctness his fanbase requires.

Plies? Ham-fisted lyricist. Superfluous. Inordinate. Unoriginal. Hackneyed. Clichéd. Corny. Songs? Passe'. Repurposed. Shallow. Done to death. Examples? "Make a Movie." Horn-driven. Jeezy rip-off. Ugh. "Me & My Goons." Goons? Again? We get it. "Fuck U Gon' Do Bout It." Bravado? Again? We get it. "I Chase Paper." Chasing paper? Again? We get it. Do you get it? "All Black." Lush first 0:13. Trash last 4:01. "Pants Hang Low." Better than Jibs, at least. "Family Straight." Best song on album. Still unaffecting. 4 out of 10. Maybe. In its totality? Awful. Terrible. Wack. Lame. You get it? Best use for physical CD? Break in half. Stab in own face for buying.

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Shea Serrano