Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Twista Brings A Disappointing Day After

After achieving mainstream success with Kamikaze, which featured the Kanye West-produced singles "Slow Jamz" and "Overnight Celebrity," Twista returns with The Day After. While there are some enjoyable songs to be found, this album is mostly a disappointment.

One of the first things to note about The Day After is that Kanye West is nowhere to be found. I don't know if Kanye didn't contribute because he was too busy with his other projects or if Twista wanted to branch out and prove that he didn't need Kanye to be a success. Regardless, Twista enlists several high profile producers that contribute some of the album's best songs. The Neptunes produce two tracks including the funky "When I Get You Home (A. I. O. U.)" featuring Jamie Foxx on vocals. Lil' Kim trades verses with Twista over a well-worn Al Green sample in "Do Wrong." Mariah Carey sings on the Rodney Jerkins-produced "So Lonely" while Pitbull guests on the Mr. Collipark-produced club banger "Hit The Floor."

Some of the other songs on the album succeed for the wrong reasons. The highlight of "Had To Call" isn't Twista's verse or the guest appearance by Snoop's the lazy, unintentionally funny vocals by the appropriately named Sleepy Eyed Jones. Twista one-ups Kanye West by "screwing" an entire verse instead of only a few lines for "Holding Down The Game" and the result really shows how amazing Twista's flow actually is. "I'm A Winner" works thanks to a surprisingly good beat made from a sped-up R. Kelly sample.

The main problem with this album is that there is little variety in what Twista raps about. You can basically narrow this album down to "gangsta" songs and songs about love/sex. A lot of rappers manage to overcome such narrowness with creative lyrics. However, that's not the case here. Once you get past Twista's flow, things start to feel really repetitive. There are only so many times you can listen to someone declare that he'll "hit it from the back."

I know Twista is better than much of what is contained on The Day After. He proved his ability to be versatile on various songs from his last album Kamikaze. But instead of showing how versatile he can be, Twista decided to rely on the old standbys for average rappers: well-known producers, numerous guest stars, and the assumption that the audience will love anything he says (no matter how unoriginal or repetitive) as long as there's a hot beat behind it. I hope Twista realizes that the only way he'll be able to stay in the game is to come up with lyrics that are at least as interesting to listen to as his wonderful, rapid-fire flow.

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