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Sound Off – KeAnthony: A Hustlaz Story

Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on August 19, 2008

The latest albums making noise

KeAnthony could be the perfect blend of street cred (he spent time in jail à la Lyfe Jennings), vocal acrobatics (think R. Kelly) and seductive soul (in the same vein as Tank, who coincidentally penned some of the album’s material). This “tri-brid” of R&B’s debut album, A Hustlaz Story, demonstrates potential to please both mainstream and chitlin’ circuit audiences.

Appealing strongly to the latter set is “Down Girl,” in which KeAnthony praises his woman, but questions why a lady who could have any man in the universe would choose a guy like him. The flattering yet self-deprecating vocals glide over the streetwise groove.

If ever there was a tribute to the R in R&B, KeAnthony definitely delivers it with “Everytime I’m High,” a track whose vocal play and melody are reminiscent of R. Kelly circa Chocolate Factory and TP.3 Reloaded. Here, the crooner waxes poetic on the joys and escapism benefits of, well, getting high.

“Meddlin’” offers an updated rendition of The O’Jays’ “Back Stabbers” and quickly dismisses the importance of so-called friends who spread gossip. Another cut deals with a betrayal. “Forever My Homie” is apparently dedicated to the childhood buddy who turned KeAnthony in to the police prior to his eight-year prison sentence. Though questioning in nature, KeAnthony avoids taking too bitter an approach to the song, instead repeating how he’s been thinking about this friend and also his own future.

A Hustlaz Story will be ear candy for both old-school and hip-hop soul lovers, though the former may be turned off by some of the forced cursing KeAnthony sprinkles throughout the compilation. This could be in an attempt to sound more street, but the album already has thug appeal based on the subject matter and the radio-ready rhythms that accompany the lyrics.

Track List:
1. “Down Girl”
2. “That’s What I’ll Be”
3. “I Ain’t Tryna”
4. “This Feelin’”
5. “My Song”
6. “Forever My Homie”
7. “I Thought”
8. “Everytime I’m High”
9. “A Hustlaz Story”
10. “Call Me”
11. “Meddlin’”
12. “It’s Okay”

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