Album Review: Obie Trice – Bottoms Up
Bottoms Up is Obie Trice’s first studio album since 2006’s Second Round’s On Me. Bottoms Up is also Trice’s first album under his own Black Market Ent. imprint. This album has been in the works for a long long time, and it sounds like it too. Just like the cover, Obie Trice feels old, unimaginative, and scared to take risks. Although, Bottoms Up is a decent addition to his catalog, it’s not the best in his catalog. However, don’t think Bottoms Up isn’t worth a few listens, it is.
Hey, look its a baby on the cover. Maybe Nas ruined this for artists, but any rapper that throws up a baby pic’ on their album cover looks lazy. Throwing a baby on the artwork feels like a last ditch effort at a creative, thoughtful, eye pleasing cover. At least the let’s-make-the-baby-the-emphasis-of-the-cover objective was fulfilled. This cover has no distractions at all. Just a lot of dark tones. The cover isn’t horrible, its just cliche.
If the cover is a good alternative to counting sheep, then the first track is a good alternative to coffee in the morning. Yes, the good ol’ Doc did it again. Dr. Dre kicked off the album with a captivating piano in the intro. It’s a classic Dre beat, and one of the best instrumentals on the entire album. Using that instrumental on the intro draws the listener into the album, but it’s also a waste of a good beat, although Trice did it justice. Surely this beat deserved to be made into a single. Instead it’s an intro beat in which Obie welcomes everybody into the album, and gives out several shout outs. Nevertheless, Obie was on point.
The tone was set. Dr. Dre produced the intro. Obie talked on it for half the time. He’s packin’ some heat right? Yes, then no. Yes, the album packed some heat through the 1st quarter, but the lack of imagination ran the album into a brick wall of boredom. Maybe it was the 17-song tracklist? Either way, Bottoms Up is a very homogenous project. Not because the theme seamlessly dives in and out of each track and makes the album feel like one complete project, but because after the 1st quarter every song sounds the same. Same format. Same type of beats. Same flow. Same type of hooks. On the bright side, they’re all uniformly consistent tracks. Obie Trice had something good going and he didn’t want to veer off into unknown lands. Sadly, this causes the album to become a doozer.
“Richard (Ft. Eminem)” is inarguable the best track on the album. To begin with, the Statik Selektah beat is impossible to ruin, not to downplay Trice and Em’s involvement in the tracks greatness either. It’s just that Statik killed the beat. Instrumentally the track is outstanding. Lyrically, it’s something to turn up. Eminem took care of the hook with one of his classic melodies, all in his Slim Shady accent. Obie Trice laid down two verses in which he boasted, and tried to prove his Richard-ness. The concept for the track was hilarious, fun, and most importantly, it was executed to perfection.
Other standout tracks on the LP included the Eminem produced “Going Nowhere,” “I Pretend,” “Secrets,” and “Crazy.”
As previously stated, the album is uniform, and it sounds like its been pushed back for a few years. Tracks on here sound old. This can be good or bad, bad when Obie Trice wished everybody a “happy new year” on “Lebron Up,” and horrible when he said, “Obie Trice, 2011.” On the same track, Obie also forgot to mention Yelawolf when he was shouting out the new Shady Records. The latter is acceptable, but it shows lack of attention to detail. “LeBron Up” should’ve been re-recorded. Overall, Bottoms Up sounds like something that was released from a time capsule.
Although Obie isn’t going to impress anybody with Bottoms Up, it’s still a solid effort from a solid rapper. He might’ve overdone it with 17 tracks, and he might’ve been scared to veer off into different spaces, but he stuck to his strengths, and he executed well. Bottoms Up isn’t a single-only album in which only the singles stick out, and then the rest of the album is complete trash. Bottoms Up stays consistent 1 through 17. In conclusion, Bottoms Up is nothing to go up in arms about, and it’s nothing to smack down either. It’s worth a listen, and it’s worth a few replays.
Final grade: C (75%)