Had to Call (ft. Snoop Dogg and Sleepy Eyed Jones)
After having been thus far under whelmed by any new hip hop in the first couple months of '06, but still being in a hip hop kind of mood lately (brought on by an impromptu road trip last week [thanks Jeff for covering for me on Friday] flying down Highway 15 bumping Sirius satellite radio), I decided to focus today on an album criminally slept on last year.The Day After
, Twista’s follow up to his multi-platinum 2004 breakthrough album Kamikaze
, was in many ways a disappointment. It barely certified gold, all three of its poorly chosen singles stalled on the charts, it suffered from a mostly lackluster roster of guests, and, perhaps most detrimentally, from a lack of any of the Kanye West Midas touch production that blessed Kamikaze
. Aside from a couple so-so Neptunes tracks and the currently obligatory Scott Storch joint, The Day After
sticks with mostly unknown local Chi-town producers. And while that didn’t translate into big sales it makes for a much more diverse and interesting record. There are many bright moments on the album, from the moody lover’s quarrel duet with Lil Kim “Do Wrong” to the amazing verbal sparring with an R. Kelly sample on “I’m A Winner”, but the standout track is the inexplicably non-single west-coast-flavored “Had to Call”.
Produced by newcomer MAD, “Had to Call” is a bubbling pseudo 70’s soul jam, all pimp cups and pinkie rings, built on a smooth Midnight Star
sample and anchored by the throwback baritone of Sleepy Eyed Jones. Twista, whose ludicrous speed flow is too audacious and dexterous here to be gimmicky, is as perfect in guest verse form as on his best singles like “Slow Jamz” and “Is That Yo Bitch?” and Snoop hasn’t been this good since Chronic 2001
Unfortunately for Twista, his fifth album was overshadowed by a slew of great hip hop albums released in 2005, not least of which being one by the man who rescued him from novelty rap obscurity and made him an “overnight celebrity”. But if Twista had just waited a couple more months to release The Day After
he definitely would have had the best album of the year so far.
to buy it from Amazon)