Artist: PrasTitle: Win, Lose or DrawRating: 2 StarsReviewed by: Bill “Low-Key” Heinzelman
Somebody get Prakazrel a drink. As the red headed stepchild of The Fugees, Pras has endured years of frustration, hate and setbacks. It is never easy being the “other guy” in a superstar group, but that is what Pras has had to live with his entire career. With his sophomore album, Win, Lose Or Draw (Universal), Pras attempts to shakes off the doubters and prove he can stand his own without Lauryn or Wyclef. Unfortunately, Pras fails to do so by providing a clumsy and misguided album that lacks any direction.
Win, Lose Or Draw falters by attempting to manufacture sappy R&B crossover hits. On “Haven’t Found,” Pras unsuccessfully lifts the hook from U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” while proclaiming to be a “freedom fighter” for the people. “Dreamin'” finds Mr. Ghetto Superstar yearning for a love long gone, as Pras stumbles with lines like, “If you are trying to have a future, I suggest you should trust me/You know me, I’m going to give you the best advice.”
In addition, Pras calls on a lot of familiar faces to help him strike it rich with a hit. Akon is unable to provide such success on “Mr. Martin,” as Pras’ nonsensical rhymes take center stage with lines like, “My wordplay is like arts and crafts.” For the reggae fans out there, Sean Paul drops by on the predictable “Dance Hall.” While the production provides an authentic reggae feel, Pras sounds misplaced over the track’s thunderous drums and blazing sirens.
Win, Lose Or Draw is a hard pill to swallow for any Fugees fan. Pras has not aged gracefully on the mic and his sophomore album is proof. Luckily, for Pras, all of his mistakes will be forgotten if The Fugees can produce a stellar reunion album.