While Twista’s guest verses have always been a plenty-valued commodity in hip-hop, his solo output has rarely been better than passable. The Chicagoan’s Guiness-Record speedster flow can be delicious in eight-bar increments; an album of the stuff is kind of like listening to Great Expectations as read by the guy from the Micro Machines commercials or devouring a four-course feast of candy. In other words, torturous. And so the success or failure of Twista’s newest release, Category F5, comes down to the feature emcees he’s brought along to break up the rapid-fire flow. He’s nailed this before (2004’s Kamikaze, helped by Kanye West, T.I., Ludacris, and Too $hort, was a near-classic), but a quick scroll down the list of features here shows a disappointing deficiency of talent. Lil Boosie shows up with a Boosie song, all slow-rolling bump and twinkling organs, and with Twista’s vocal gymnastics, the result is on par with the brilliant mixtapes Boosie has released this year. The OJ da Juiceman- and Gucci Mane-assisted “Walkin On Ice,” with a beat from trap-house soundtracker Zaytoven, is chock-full of Atlanta catchphrases like “aye” and “burrr” and captures the Southern zeitgeist like lighting in a bottle. The rest of the guests aren’t nearly as rewarding as these: Busta Rhymes and Ron Brownz on some post-“Arab Money” yuck (“Billionaire”), R. Kelly on some sub-“Down Low” passion (“Yellow Light”), Akon on some not-quite-“Beautiful” adulation (“On Top”). Twista’s worst artistic decision, though, is his decision to rap with Auto-Tune on more than one occasion. When he’s not surfing the wake of some newfound trend, Twista remains an acquired taste, and if you haven’t acquired that taste yet, now is probably not the time to try.
- Release Date
- July 12, 2009
- Get Money Gang
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