Obie Trice – “The 5th” review

Obie Trice is a 41 year old MC from Detroit, Michigan that came up battling at the Hip Hop Shop during the late 90’s. It was there where he was introduced to Eminem, who would make Obie the 2nd act to ever sign to his Interscope Records imprint Shady Records in 2000 right after D12. He eventually made his debut in 2003 with Cheers, which is considered an underrated Detroit classic. This was followed up in 2006 with the solid 2nd Round’s on Me, but then Obie decided to leave Shady/Interscope in 2008 due to promotion issues. His first post-Shady release was a long lost album with MoSS the year after he left called Special Reserve, but Obie would go on to form his own label Black Market Entertainment in 2010 & his 2012 independent debut Bottoms Up was almost like he never left. Then came The Hangover in 2015 which was the last release of his to have an alcohol-themed title, but was weighed down with lackluster production. Fast forward to today, Obie is back in effect with his 5th full-length album.

The intro sees Obie pouring his heart out over a decent boom bap beat while the next song “This & That” talks about the things he has to do to get where he is now over beautiful piano instrumental. The track “Heartless” passionately vents over a soulful beat while the song “No” is a generic club banger. The track “Truth to Power” talks about the current state of hip hop over a beat with some ominous keyboards while the song “Ass” is a strip club anthem with a synth-heavy trap beat.

The track “Rollin’” flexes over a hellish beat while the song “Take It There” brags over a luscious beat. The track “Letter” talks about Obie’s younger self over an uplifting beat while the song “Space” with Xzibit sees the 2 talking about life in the hood over a spacious boom bap instrumental.

The track “92” reflects on that titular year over an instrumental inspired by Dr. Dre’s production work in the early 2000s while the song “185+Deuce” with Spice 1 & Swift McVay sees the 3 spitting gritty street bars over a keyboard heavy trap beat. The penultimate track “Hate” talk about those knockin’ on him over a lavish instrumental & then the album ends with “Smr”, where Obie talks about rappers who’re on the internet a lot & where he comes from over some Neptunes inspired keys.

This is a pretty decent comeback from one of Detroit’s most underrated MCs. The production has slightly stepped up in comparison to the last album & Obie’s pen game remains sharp.

Score: 3/5

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