Artist: SlaineTitle: The White Man is the Devil Volume 2: Citizen CaineRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Kathy Iandoli
The heart of Boston Hip-Hop is forever held in the arms of its independent artists. Logistically, Beantown can give New York a run for its money in the number of lyricists that flood the underground. Almost impossible to discern, rarely does an MC climb his way out of the murk and mire and truly exhibit mainstream potential. Enter Slaine. Special Teamz representative and La Coka Nostra forefather, Slaine develops a refined voice on his follow-up mixtape The White Man is the Devil Volume 2: Citizen Caine (Legend Leaguerz).
Slaines braggin rites successfully soared beyond his social circle with Volume 1. Hailed as Bostons next best thing, Slaine didnt need to ride the coattails of extended Hip-Hop family members like Edo G (Special Teamz), and La Coka Nostra affiliate Everlast and still doesnt this time around. His knack for instilling the fear of the mic is a rare treasure, but with Slaine, its questionable whether or not he will use that device to spit on or bludgeon with.
Volume 2 opens with the drug infested On The Third Day beginning the cycle of Slaines penchant for lyrics that glorify his cocaine-saturated being. Cocaine & Blue Eyes follows with grimy vocals dipped in haunting violins. While the albums title sounds more like a declaration of self-hate, Slaine posts it to his advantage on songs like Jewelz, Bad Man, and XXX, spouting sagas of sex and lyrical dominance within a psychotropic lifestyle. Replacing the recycled song concept of personifying a gun, the J. Ferra produced Citizen Caine brings cocaine as the narrator bastardized by both dealers and doers. The cuts by JayceeOh reflect multiple coke references, proving that kilo slingers arent the only ones abusing the white girl. Obligatory posse cuts, Get Outta My Way, Fuck Tony Montana, and Racce Riot unfortunately dilute the work, as Slaine stylistically can hold his own without the homeboy favors. Other minor low points mark the album with Touch the Sky and Still East Coast which confusingly sound like 50 Cent and Jay-Z karaoke. Further, Slaine sporadically flounders in depressing tangents and arrives like a whiny Eminem. Still, for the greater whole of Volume 2, he barely struggles with self-identity.
While Slaine hardly runs the gamut of song ideas on Volume 2, he does succeed in displaying potential for a long successful road ahead. However, should he desire fame beyond the highly concentrated league of cult followed artists (think Immortal Technique), he should loosen up his focus and indulge in diversity. In other words, put the razor blades and condoms down.