Plies was known as a loud mouth plus loose cannon -- a jail sentence on gun charges had him replaced by Snoop Dogg for the Akon collabo "I Wanna Love You" -- long before most even got to hear him, and his debut is just about everything you want from thug who is as ambitious as he is vicious. Even if there are redundant tracks and some potential unreached, these are small sacrifices to make when one gets to hear someone combining fresh, talented, cocksure, and driven as well Plies does. "Shawty" and "Hypnotized" featuring Akon -- paying Plies back for sitting out "Love You" -- is the rapper at his most polished while "Kept It Too Real" and "1 Mo Time" is the man at his most dangerous. Both styles are executed successfully and the album knowingly favors the street tracks where Plies sounds most at home. Production from Midnight Black, Jonathan "JR" Rotem, Drumma Boy, and others satisfies, and just enough guest artists help anchor the album, along with "Runnin' My Momma Crazy," which does the reverent, sentimental, "I'm hard but I love my mother" track very well. An energetic artist with little refinement, Plies puts his rough edges to good use on The Real Testament, an exciting, sometimes promising, debut.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries