Protege of the Game

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The title of this album gets points for its bald-faced opportunism. Why mention in the press release which better-known rapper helped this young man out when you can simply let everyone know through the title of the album itself? Yes indeed, Philly rapper Cyssero is indeed a protégé of the Game, the Compton rapper best known for his beef with his own former mentor 50 Cent. Cyssero wisely stays out of that past contretemps on his debut album, instead focusing on building his own rep and persona. While unfortunately that persona is pretty much the same as that of most other young gangsta rappers (he's something of a bad-ass, apparently), Cyssero has a good flow and the production on the album (by production star of the moment Scott Storch, among others) is inventive and entertaining. Hooks like the funky chicken-scratch guitar underpinning "So Fresh" and the dub-like reverb and haze of "Natural Born Hustla" (with a guest shot from Akon), keep the listener occupied when the lyrics themselves can't manage the job.

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