Artist: B.G. aka B. GizzleTitle: The Heart of Tha Streetz Vol. 1Rating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Bill “Low-Key” Heinzelman
B.G. needs Mannie Fresh more than he will admit. Since his departure from Cash Money, B.Gizzle has failed to replace the extraordinary production he was once privileged to receive, and in turn has delivered two disappointing releases. With his ninth album The Heart Of Tha Streetz Vol. 1 (Koch/Chopper City), B.G. finally sees some improvement with his production, making for his best album since Checkmate.
Artistically, B.G. hasn’t changed since his introduction to the rap world. His vivid imagery and gritty edge has contributed to his success and has helped him develop his strong fan base. The Heartz Of Tha Streetz finds B.G. staying focused and hungry throughout. “On Tha Block” is a vintage Gizzle cut that rekindles the edginess of his previous Cash Money releases. Over Hush of the Heatmizers synth keys and bass heavy production, B.G. delivers drug-influenced tales so vivid you will be able to smell the crack cooking in the pot. On “Do That Shit” B.G. addresses a variety of issues from baby mama drama to the murder of Souljah Slim. The underrated Dani Kartel provides one of the album’s best beats with his light string plucks. Other notable attempts that personify the grittiness of the South include the addicting “Chopper City”, “Fool With It”, and the title track.
While the improvement in production on The Heartz Of Tha Streetz Vol. 1 gets B. Gizzle moving in the right direction, unfortunately there are still a variety of poor efforts that hold the album back. The lead single “Where Da At” is a weak attempt by Mr. Collipark and Jevor to recreate a Lil Jon influenced club joint. “Work Dat Ass” featuring 5th Ward Webbie, is another forced shot to recreate Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up”. On “U See Why”, producer Howard stumbles with his bland attempt to provide a breezy southern anthem, as B.G. slows his flow down considerably, only to no avail. In addition, Hush’s irritating synthesizer production on “Stalkin'” only adds to the frustration of an already mundane track.
With The Heart Of Tha Streetz Vol. 1 B.G. puts his best foot forward and starts to head in the right direction. Even though he hits some roadblocks along the way, the album is still the best Gizzle has had to offer since his days at Cash Money.