A Plus

My Last Good Deed

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

After spending years as part of Souls of Mischief and the Hieroglyphics consortium, as well as his work as a producer, A Plus has finally gotten around to making his own solo album. And My Last Good Deed is a consistent release that proves A Plus is just as capable rhyming alone as he is with a group. Though Jake One and J Zone each contribute a track, most of the production is handled by Compound7 (comprised of A Plus and AAGEE), who make strong, modern beats that take on a kind of post-millennium feel, urban and vaguely industrial -- synthesized, electronica-influenced keys and percussion -- but still West-Coast warm. There are, of course, an assortment of guest MCs, few of which are particularly notable (the exceptions being fellow Hieros Del, Pep Love, Casual, and Souls of Mischief), but A Plus is more than able to hold down rhymes on his own. His delivery isn't especially unique -- neither slow nor fast, drawn-out or syncopated -- but it's steady and uniform as he spits out bars about weed, his own subliminal skills, and everyday life. He's not a conscious rapper, though he does have a few songs about appreciating life ("Good Time Charlie," "A Beautiful Thing") but he's not mainstream or gangsta, either. He's a dude who likes to smoke and can come up with some pretty clever metaphors (wittily married in "Dub Song," about marijuana, in which he replaces common phrases with the "love" with "dub": "Lace it up and show you that dub hurts," "Want to grow it myself, my dub unconditional," and "I need dub, I feel like LL," are just a few of the examples). If anything, My Last Good Deed is too average-guy-ish, too consistent, with not quite enough personality. None of the 15 (plus two bonus tracks) on the album are bad, at all, but none of them really grab you, either, stand out from the crowd and make you want to play them again and again. This isn't to say that My Last Good Deed is a bad record, though, because it's absolutely not. It's done well, by a talented, and more importantly, practiced and professional MC, but it lacks some of the sheer excitable talent that propelled other Bay Area MCs to the top.

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