Patrick Houston, aka Project Pat, revisits themes that will be familiar to loyal fans a decade into his recording career--namely, power, money, street credibility, and success. But REAL finds its voice by steering clear of presumptuous boasting and focusing on exacting deconstructions of other MCs’ authenticity, most notably on the ferocious “Talk Dat Gangsta.” In a sense, it’s a call for other rappers and hustlers to try and undermine his bravado with a hotter track and steelier reputation around his hometown of Memphis and beyond. The production is expectedly bare bones, with stuttering drum machines cutting up dramatic soul samples instead of turntable showiness.
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AllMusic Review by Kenneth Herzog