Local Wire

Plies

Da REAList is not Plies' meditation on Platonic realism; it's mostly just demonstrably false braggadocio and sentimental hooey. The main problem with this record is that a July Hip Hop DX report showed that despite Plies' claims to be a lifelong thug, he's actually been arrested only twice — fairly recently, for misdemeanors. (He also studied sociology for a time at the University of South Florida.) So, unlike on his album of just six months ago, Definition of Real, the listener can see right through the tracks about how hard he is — "Me & My Goons" and "All Black" are particularly transparent. Even when he shows his softer side it's tough to swallow. On "Family Straight," for example, he speaks of an aunt with AIDS, his father's struggle with drugs, and his cousin's under-age pregnancy. "I'm tired of answering my phone and hearing bad news," he raps. Easily the album's most compelling track, it almost feels real, but one can't help but doubt its veracity because of Plies' track record. Though the twinkling, snap-music-influenced beats are sometimes appealing, it's hard to get past Da REAList's absurd story lines.
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Ben Westhoff
Contact: Ben Westhoff