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Deep Conversation

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Album Review

Deep Conversation finds West Coast rapper Celly Cel improving his lyrical delivery overtop equally improved accompanying beats to the point where he has evolved into one of the Coast's best MCs. On past albums Celly Cel has struggled to separate himself from the countless other West Coast gangsta rappers following in the footsteps of Too Short, Ice T, and NWA. During his stint with the Sick Wid' It label Celly Cel fell into the common pitfall of conformity, and then on his Jive album, The G Filez, he broke out of generic gangsta trappings and came into his own. The rapper's evolution from gangsta to a well-rounded artist with a unique style continues on Deep Conversation. On two of the album's best songs, "Return of the Real Niggaz" and "Which One Is U?," Celly Cel definitely flexes his ego a bit, but he also ironically comments on the practice of ego flexing, calling out his fellow hustlas and playas while making a conscious effort not to fall victim to the same stereotypes he critiques. Other songs such as "Make Um Bounce," "The Dog in Me," and "What You Need" also stand out with their entertaining subject matter involving some of the more cheery aspects of a G-lifestyle. Of course, lyrics do not carry a rap album by themselves and Deep Conversation definitely benefits from the rapper's lucid delivery and the album's pristine West Coast G-funk sound. Until Celly Cel scores some major label distribution, don't expect him to gain too much national recognition, but among his West Coast peers — Too Short, E-40, Ice Cube, Kurupt, Spice 1 — his performance on Deep Conversation furthers his position as one of the most talented rappers in California.


Born: Vallejo, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Born Marcellus McCarver, Celly Cel grew up in Vallejo, CA, just north of San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. His drawling hardcore gangsta lyrics and G-funk productions first appeared in 1994 on Heat 4 Yo Azz, but Celly had been making demos and honing his skills as far back as 1990. Released on E-40's Sick Wid It label, Heat 4 Yo Azz was well received, and the following year, his best-selling album to date, Killa Kali, was unleashed. Celly didn't have another release of his own until 1998's...
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Deep Conversation, Celly Cel
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