Plies - "Da REAList" Nov 1, 2015 11:18:33 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Nov 1, 2015 11:18:33 GMT -5
Da REAList (2008)
For a while, Florida-based rapper Plies was one of the most consistent men in hip-hop, churning out three impressive albums in the span of sixteen months. This was obviously the work of a man with a brand and something to say; it was a man who prided himself off of being "real" (a term used in each of his first three album titles) and refusing to politic and kiss ass to corporate in order to get his records heard on the radio. In the later aughts, his song "Shawty" with the then-hook-god T-Pain became a huge radio hit, in addition to followups like "Hypnotized" and "Bust it Baby Pt. 2" becoming considerable low-key hits as well.
Da REAList came at a time when Plies' popularity started to sag, as this one produced less radio hits than his previous album and began showing signs that maybe, just maybe, Plies was too real for the streets of mainstream radio. This is a shame because Da REAList is a well-rounded work of infectious pop rap ballads, glorious gangsta rap tendencies in style and production, and unabashedly, and unashamedly, a prideful work of southern hip-hop filled with romance, agony, and criticisms about the world.
People that bash Plies for his Instagram videos on the weekend promoting "SWEET PWUSSY SATDAY" and such forget what he's capable of. Songs like "Family Straight" are deeply sad ballads of him crying for help, as he talks about broken his family is and how everyone from his mother to his niece is struggling with some kind of albatross. It's easily the most heartfelt song I've heard from a man who can also make truly terrifying songs about murder and truly sensual songs about sex.
Following up "Family Straight" in the way it presents unadulterated emotions is "2nd Chance," which largely features Plies condemning the legal system in America in a way that, again, is unexpected of him because of his style ostensibly being rooted in two dichotomous personalities. Through another catchy chorus and a flow dominated by southern twang and swagger, Plies has no problem delivering a song of commendable honesty as he questions whether or not America really is the land of second chances.
Other songs like the slow and methodical "Me & My Goons" has Plies crooning over the beat, and a similar flow is used during the widely dismissed "All Black," which I really kind of enjoy. Plies' voice and dialect lend themselves to various different flows and whether he's being loud, proud, and boisterous on "Pants Hang Low," slow and groggy on "Me & My Goons," or assisted by an R&B chorus by Ashanti on "Want It, Need It," Plies makes Da REAList connect largely because of variety and charisma, something he has had even now after more-or-less abandoning the album route in favor for more gritty, cut-throat mixtapes.
Recommended tracks (in order): "Family Straight," "All Black," "2nd Chance," "Plenty Money," "Me & My Goons."