The True Meaning picks up where Cormega's stellar debut, The Realness (2001), left off, showcasing earnest, heartfelt, and sometimes sharp-edged rhymes over gritty street-level beats. "Love in Love Out" -- where Cormega answers Nas' "Destroy & Rebuild" over a crackling sample of the beat from Isaac Hayes' "Your Love Is So Doggone Good" -- is sure to garner a lot of attention, but there's plenty more to The True Meaning than that one song. The streetwise title track is an obvious highlight, graced with a soulful Diana Ross sample for its hook. Other standouts include "The Come Up," a Large Professor production that includes a verse from the Main Source legend (the only guest rap on the entire album); "The Legacy," a stunning Alchemist production with a backward-looking lyric; and "Built for This," a tough rap with a great beat by J. Waxx Garfield, who is credited with three songs overall. Cormega stands tall as a fearless, confident rapper over the course of The True Meaning, calling himself "Queensbridge's most respected rapper" on "Ain't Gone Change," a show-stopping a cappella that sets up the title track perfectly. The True Meaning is an impressive album on many counts and is sure to please hip-hop purists as well as anyone who enjoys well-crafted, intelligent New York rap.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier