Cocoa Brovaz

The Rude Awakening

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Once the Smith & Wesson gun company realized there was a pair of rappers performing under the name "Smif-N-Wessun," the duo had to change their name. They chose Cocoa Brovaz and released their second album, Rude Awakening (possibly a reference to their legal troubles), under that moniker in the spring of 1998. All things considered, the legal mishap was little more than a speed bump for the duo; the end result is every bit as good as their first effort, if not better. The pair of hardcore gangstas are still hurt by their reliance on clich├ęs -- when it comes right down to it, they aren't offering any new insights, they're simply redoing the standard dope-money-guns-n-hoes line -- but they're saved by their energy and hard-hitting delivery. Usually, that makes the standard-issue music fairly compelling, but there are moments that drag on Rude Awakening, although not as many as on Smif-N-Wessun's Dah Shinin'. In other words, it's an improvement and a step forward in Cocoa Brovaz developing their own identity.

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