The Heart of tha Streetz, Vol. 1

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The highs are higher than usual and enough to keep the legions of B.G. fans happy, but The Heart of tha Streetz is another uneven album from the rapper who keeps verifying he's a "singles artist." The album's big problems are the same ones B.G.'s had a hard time overcoming ever since he left the Cash Money family: production and keeping the whole affair on point. On the ample filler, beats are still thinner than they should be, making B.G.'s whiny delivery even harder to take. He's not known as a wordsmith by any means, but B.G.'s sly skills and snide delivery deserve better. The good news is this time he gets just enough thick tracks to split the difference. The crunkified and sinister "Where da At" and his new anthem, "Chopper City," both smack harder than expected. The breezy "U See Why" and the Eminem-ish "Stalkin'" take B. Gizzle in directions he's never been before, while retaining that Southern gutter edge. More bangers make this a solid ten-song album, but without a finger on the "skip" button, the weaker cuts drag down this ominous ride through the streets. Taking this into consideration, fans of filthy Southern beats and rhymes should check the positive progression B.G.'s making, while everyone else can hold off until the next "best-of" collection.

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