While Brian "Baby" Williams, co-founder of Dirty South pioneers Cash Money Records, obviously has the confidence to make a grab for the mic, he has no illusions about his abilities. By his own admission more a talker than a rapper, Baby has smartly selected the crucial talents of such R&B luminaries as Toni Braxton, Jermaine Dupri, Mannie Fresh, and Cam'ron to assist him on his debut BIRDMAN. The combination of these stars and production skills from Timbaland and the Neptunes is more than enough to pick up any slack, of which there's surprisingly little.
Braxton's contribution, the plangent "Baby You Can Do It," is typical in its smooth blend of breathy R&B with Williams's nasal rappadocio, while the breezy singalong chorus to the obligatory gangsta nod "Hustlas, Pimps and Thugs" ("I just need a hug") is played strictly for laughs. With BIRDMAN, an accomplished collection of seamless beats set against a colorfully textured musical backdrop, the #1 Stunna shows he's as skilled at mixing essential musical and production elements as he is at running a record label.