Be it busting the Gucci heads for their lightweight threads ("Petty") or declaring his comeback over an Eminem beat ("Going No Where"), rapper Obie Trice never falters on Bottoms Up, his first release since leaving Em's major-label imprint, Shady. If it weren't for all the respectful "thanks to my Shady family" talk during the Dr. Dre-produced intro, you'd never know he was off the label, as this long-delayed effort retains the polish and punch of a major-label release, and with Eminem also offering a verse on the great stuttering and stopping reggae-hop track "Richard," it's like 2003 all over again. Notice that the title is alcohol-themed too, but Obie himself has grown, and while he hasn't reached the ambitious point his Detroit brother Royce da 5'9" reached in 2012, he's mellowed when it matters, and offers some wisdom along with his "Detroit till I die" gangster stance. "Dear Lord, please forgive me/The more I live, the more I grow empty" is the kind of new Obie knowledge the man drops on "Dear Lord," while the word-filled "Ups and Downs" is an interesting cross between the Game's "16 Bars"-styled stream of consciousness and an alcoholic coming clean at an AA meeting with self-deprecation sliding into self-decimation. He's getting better with the hard truths, and with the hard ballin' still in check, Obie's independent life gets a fine kickoff here.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries