D' Real Side

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In 1999, Philippine rapper H-Bom released D' Real Side. H-Bom raps entirely in English, and his music can be compared to the non-threatening, entertaining rapping of Will Smith. H-Bom isn't mean or thuggish, though his testosterone makes itself known at times. He raps in a low, sensual voice, and also sings on many of the songs. His rapping is confident, as heard on the opening "I'm Fallen," which also features a guest female singer singing a tender, soulful line. "Why" has a flashy horn section playing the instrumental line from the film The Pink Panther, which weaves around the exuberant rapping of H-Bom. Another imaginative arrangement is heard on "Will I - C - U?," which contains a string section playing a beautiful Baroque-style movement, blending majestically with the female backing vocals. "The Unknown" has the hardest edge of any song on the album. H-Bom's rapping here is grittier, and the searing guitar solo adds a tough edge. Mostly, though, the music is accessible and non-threatening. D' Real Side is a well-conceived, enjoyable project.

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