Some veteran hip-hop heads have expressed their concerns over the direction of hardcore rap in the late '90s and early 2000s. Their generalization is as follows: hardcore rap had more of a conscience in the '80s, and too much late-'90s/early-2000s rap just talks about bling-bling, fast cars, player haters, gats, thugs, blunts, bitches, hoes, and hotties with big booties. But truth be told, rap has room for positive, uplifting MCs (the Roots, Common, Blackalicious) as well as rhymers who specialize in raunchy, explicit, over-the-top entertainment (Eminem, Too $hort). Archie Eversole's debut album, Ride Wit Me Dirty South Style, usually falls into the latter category. The Atlanta-based rapper, who was only 17 when he recorded this CD, occasionally addresses sociopolitical concerns in a serious manner -- on the disturbing "Why Me," Eversole expresses the desperation of a ghetto teenager who wonders why he has to grow up in such a dangerous, unsafe environment. But most of the time, Ride Wit Me Dirty South Style isn't an album that is trying to save the world -- this disc isn't trying to be Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Boogie Down Productions' By All Means Necessary, or even Ice-T's Power (which used thug life imagery to warn ghetto kids that crime is a dead end). Most of the time, Eversole's album is a stereotypical Dirty South effort that inundates listeners with the usual gangsta clichés and sex-and-violence themes. This is hardly the most original or innovative release in the world -- there are countless Dirty South rappers doing this type of thing -- but the beats are generally infectious and Eversole comes up with some catchy hooks here and there. Although not a masterpiece, Ride Wit Me Dirty South Style is an entertaining, if uneven and derivative, example of southern hardcore rap.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson