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Split Personality

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Album Review

The decision to make the R. Kelly-assisted "Hotel" the first single off Split Personality made it clear that Cassidy — or, in reality, his handlers — wanted to play up his chameleonic nature and fresh-faced image as soon as possible. This was a gamble that landed him in the Top Ten. A track as soft and smooth as Nick Cannon's "Gigolo" (also featuring Kelly), in addition to being thematically interchangeable with Chingy's more recent "Holidae In," "Hotel" did not seem to be an apt debut single for the MC who slew Freeway in battle and tore up a couple verses on mentor/producer Swizz Beatz's G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories. Nonetheless, the track's success diversified the anticipation for the debut album, though those amped for more of the hard material might've been turned off by the exposure-swelling sop to the ladies. Cassidy's different approaches are even more pronounced as the album plays out. Divided into thirds, Split Personality begins with Cassidy's softer, more flirtatious side, and then slides into the harder-hitting material for the latter two-thirds. This set-up is a convenience to listeners who want their Cassidy in a specific mode. The problem is that the MC is much more effective when donning his battle-tested side; as a result, the majority of that first third is filled out with moments that, on the average rap record, would fall by the wayside — tracks like "Make U Scream" and the redundant "Hotel"-alike "Get No Better" ("Mmm mmm mmm, with ya sexy self/Go to my hotel and undress yourself") typically show up when an album is winding down, not when it's supposed to be gathering steam. On the rest of the album, it doesn't seem like Cassidy's playing a role so much, and the quality level improves because of it. It shows how formidable he can be, even if he's not ready to rank with his top-tier elders. As the first release from Swizz Beats' J-supported Full Surface, the album is a minor disappointment while simultaneously showing promise. [The album was made available in a clean version, with all cursing removed.]


Born: 07 July 1982 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The first MC of significance to be supported by Swizz Beatz's J-affiliated Full Surface label, Cassidy is a fresh-faced Philadelphian who gained a lot of attention as a battle rapper -- with a successful bout against Freeway as one of the first feathers in his cap. People who had been following him through several mixtape appearances were more than a little surprised by the angle taken on his first solo single, "Hotel." Rather than build on his street credibility, Cassidy used the song -- with vocal...
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Split Personality, Cassidy
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