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A Song for You

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Album Review

You can argue about how "eccentric" loose canon Bizzy Bone can be and how it gets in the way of his music, but you can't argue about how his over-prolific release schedule has sadly undermined his better work. Albums come out the rate of two or three a year and on various labels with quality varying wildly, from forgettable to almost there. The year 2008 had already seen one Bizzy album — the much fiercer Ruthless — appear by the time Song for You arrived, but this full-length breaks the pattern, becoming the first end-to-end stunner in the rapper's solo career. Part of the reason seems to be Bizzy's love of his new home, the After Platinum label which the rapper mentions repeatedly in a giddy voice not heard since the early days of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. After a hopeful intro, "A Song for You" presents the first truly radio-worthy single the man has released in years with DMX and Chris Notez as guests. Cool crooner Notez also brightens the emotional highlight "Hard Times," which touches upon the old days with the Thugs and how Bizzy's been "Livin on the outside" of the crew's inner circle. Seeing Joel Madden's name on the guest list is a shock, but the bigger surprise is how well the Good Charlotte vocalist fits into the stately world of "I'm the One," a track that could accompany any given heavyweight as he enters the ring. Hooks are plentiful with "Mercy Mary," "I Need You," and a handful of others sticking in the head, plus the production is slicker, more polished, and altogether better than on previous albums. A Song for You might just be a tad more friendly than his cult would desire, but the idea that Bizzy is his own worst enemy gets tossed out the window after this roaring success. Give him the right time and right place, and Bizzy, surprisingly enough, ends up being the right man for the job.


Born: September 12, 1976 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known as a member of the Cleveland crew Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, rapper Bizzy Bone began a prolific, risk-taking, and sometimes baffling solo career in 1998. Combining rapid raps and laid-back singing, his soul-searching debut, Heaven'z Movie, didn't sound entirely unlike a Bone Thugs album, but it was obvious that on his own Bizzy felt free to explore his psyche and to go eccentric places his group just would not. The Gift from 2001 further divided Bone fans, with some seeing his confessional...
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A Song for You, Bizzy Bone
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