War with No Mercy

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War With No Mercy is a war of words (thus the parental advisory sticker), though Fesu fights on too many fronts: whites, women, people who don't play his music, and more. His moniker is actually his Moslem name (Yusef Cross) spelled backwards, but it's not the only thing he's got backwards. Excessive foul language, misogyny, and generalized anger at everyone aren't signs of a spiritually centered person, suggesting that Fesu needs to spend more time in the mosque and less time in the studio. Rap fans drawn to salacious rhymes and sweet samples might cut him more slack, but there are far too many clever rappers out there to earn this artist a strong endorsement. His rhymes are all right, if filthy, but his delivery is too slow even by Texan standards. Along musical lines, War With No Mercy fares better, generating some neat grooves on tracks like "22 Ag'" and "Scariest M.F. Gonna Shoot" that draw you in. Lyrically, however, it feeds the same fear that makes some people rap-phobic. Had he brought his talents to bear on something deeper than his own endless well of anger, and developed a more distinctive delivery style, War With No Mercy might have captured more attention. But rap is a crowded field filled with angry young men, and Fesu is ultimately one more self-interested thug in a throng. The exception is when he looks beyond himself to speak for broader social issues, like the combination of "Minister Robert" and "Blind-Cripple & Crazy." Here, Fesu uses his pulpit to preach change, although a sour groove and some lyrical lapses make it a mixed success. He clearly has talent, at times invoking Snoop Dogg on tracks like "Ya Don't Stop" and "Fallin' off da Deep End." If Fesu decides to elevate the discussion and fight the war on a higher level, he might have a good disc in him. War With No Mercy is a portrait of the artist at war with himself, which won't win the war or market share.