Torae Admission of Guilt

Torae Admission of Guilt
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Torae has cultivated an identity over the years as being a quintessential underground NYC MC, one schooled on classic, gritty '90s hip-hop, who steadily issues solid head-nodding material. On the undeniable DJ Premier-scored 2007 "Get It Done/Click" twelve-inch with fellow underground denizen Skyzoo, Double Barrel (his collaborative album with Toronto, ON-born producer Marco Polo) or 2011's For the Record full-lengh, this served the Young vet well. But it's apparent on Admission of Guilt that Torae feels a little constrained. Simply put: Torae wants to make money. That being said, this mixtape isn't flooded with lowest common denominator tracks aimed squarely at the radio. Torae's not after mansions and expensive liquor; he simply wants to feed his wife and kids. Consequently, Torae expands his sonic palette a little and continues to develop his introspective skills while retaining the authoritative flow that got him noticed. While he's appreciative of the success he's achieved, particularly on "Forgot to Say Grace," one of three tracks produced by Toronto's Rich Kidd, it's clear he wants more recognition. On his soulful reunion with Skyzoo, "Cash Still Rules," and "What's Love" with Pharoahe Monch, this approach works because of its genuine honesty, but the awkward "Runnin'" with Uncle Murda is a transparent failure. "That's Why," featuring the inimitable Bun B, fares much better as a dalliance in Southern hip-hop. Fittingly near the end, "Limitless" is Torae's updated mission statement and best narrative moment, detailing his reaction to a fan's suggestion that his mic skills should be inversely proportional to his income. Admission of Guilt provides a convincing argument that this shouldn't be the case. (Internal Affairs)