J-Bru Identity Crisis

While J-Bru might be going through an identity crisis with his sophomore album, I just wish the rough and tumble underground MC would win out more often against the bleeding heart emo rapper. Unfortunately, about one-third of this album uses the sped-up soul sample formula, which quickly becomes boring, and Bru tends to wear his heart on his sleeve, getting all emotional on songs about lost love, ghetto life and a stale "I Used to Love H.E.R.”-style ode to hip-hop gone wrong. However, the dedications to his mother ("I Love You Ma”) and a friend who committed suicide ("It’s Raining”) are both touching but they’re overwhelmed by the overabundance of slower rap ballads. Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear a rapper saying something important, but why does it always have to be accompanied by melodramatic attempts at soul? On the other hand, when Bru is bragging or working witty wordplay he tends to be a little more enjoyable. Bru joins with Classified and an amusing White Mic to stake their claim on hip-hop with "Put My Work In,” then joins with GhettoSocks and Jay Bizzy for the humorous "Help! I Been Robbed” and gets down with Mic Boyd for some underground MC posturing on "Underground MC Pt. II.” However, these songs are few and far between. Identity Crisis is a good album but it could have been much improved with a better balance. (Urbnet)