Culture

Obie’s story all too predictable

Obie Trice has always been Eminem’s batboy, and from the looks of his second album, Second Round’s on Me, he won’t be moving up in the ranks anytime soon.

Obie’s debut album, Cheers, was a money-maker but not a critical success. His second album, Second Round’s on Me (notice the album title connection. he’s being clever), is a stilted hip-hop album that feels like the B-sides to Cheers.

Most of the tracks deal with cocky illustrations of gang bangers, drug dealers and rap artists. The triangle is rarely redirected, making it consistently boring.

Songs like “Snitch” and “Jamaican Girl” are fun and smooth, which is the most you could ask from an artist like Obie. But once you get to songs like “Kill Me A Mutha” and “Ballad of Obie,” Second Round’s on Me starts sounding like someone gagging on their own tongue.

The “rapper arrogance” has always been a problem in the music industry and it’s a problem for this album. On “Obie Story,” Trice boasts of his ability to bring home a nice report card so that his mother would take him shopping. It is difficult to identify with someone who’s so caught up in material possessions that he can’t see the worth of the grades themselves.

Rap artists are seen as models for inner city kids among others, but in Obie’s case, he falls completely short of delivering at least one worthwhile message.

Even if you were to ignore the misguided morals on the album, there is still nothing here that you couldn’t find on countless other rap albums.This is a problem, because as long as rap artists are content with repeating themselves, audiences will forget to expect more from this music. Yet, Obie still wonders why so much attention is given to Eminem and 50 Cent.

Unfortunately, with his second effort as a rap artist, he has the answer.

Danny Gordon can be contacted at d.gordon@umiami.edu.

September 8, 2006

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