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By Choice or By Force

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Album Review

Kicking it off hard with the vicious Lil Jon/BME diss track "Murda Man 2," Pastor Troy's By Choice or By Force is a solid, no-nonsense effort by the aggressive rapper, and while it does feel a bit thrown together, it does end up one of his most satisfying full-lengths. The problem lies in the album's tendency to put similar tracks together. The sleazy party cuts "I Like All That" and "Drop That Ass" are two sides of the same coin, and the cold, bragging trilogy that opens album would have been more effective if the cuts were spread out. The only other complaint is the shoddy liner notes, which mention Drumma Boy and Pino are the producers of note, but which tracks they worked on is not. Regardless, "Who Do I Trust" has a brilliant loop lifted from the film Scarface, "Crossroads" is a chilling "dead homies" number with some of the man's best lyrics, and "Vegas" is an uncluttered stunner with Troy smoothly telling the story of a trashy girl named "Diamond" over a surprisingly organic beat. While the spiritual side of the Pastor appears less than usual and "Vegas" may be the only time the album challenges the rules of hip-hop, this rowdy effort won't disappoint fans of hard Southern hip-hop, especially when the tracks are shuffled into a more sensible playlist.


Born: 18 November 1977 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

Recognized for the lyrical self-consciousness, thoughtfulness, and sincerity he injects into his otherwise standard approach to Dirty South rap, Pastor Troy stood out among the masses of up-and-coming Southern MC trying to break out nationally in the early 2000s. Born Micah LeVar Troy on November 18, 1977, in the College Park suburb of Atlanta, GA, he grew up under the influence of his father, Alfred Troy, a principled man of Haitian descent who is a former drill instructor turned pastor. Street...
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By Choice or By Force, Pastor Troy
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