Juvenile Reality Check

Far removed from his 400 Degreez heyday, New Orleans rapper Juvenile seems much more mellowed out on his latest album. It appears that Hurricane Katrina has Juvenile on the introspective tip. But perhaps Juvi should heed the album title — making an uneven album (complete with one dimensional beats and inspired rhyme) isn’t exactly the path to longevity. You’ve got the standard "everyone and the kitchen sink” on Reality Check with guests like Ludacris, Trey Songz, Bun B, 8Ball, Mike Jones, Paul Wall and Brian McKnight, to name a few, and while there are a few cool tracks ("Get Ya Hustle On,” "Rodeo,” "What’s Happening”) there is also dreck ("Addicted,” "Loose Booty”). Overall, it appears that with Juvi’s seventh album, he is still trying to make a statement: "Talk to ’im, your mayor ain’t your friend, he’s the enemy/Just to getcha vote, a saint is what he pretend to be/Listen to me, I got the remedy/Save your money up and find out who got ‘em for 10 a key,” he raps on "Get Ya Hustle On”. But there’s nothing here that I haven’t heard before so I’ll keep it moving. (Warner)