Artist: ShawnnaTitle: Block MusicRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Eb Haynes
Shawnna’s second studio album Block Music (Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam) paints a befitting mural for the street wise, former member of the disbanded girl group Infamous Syndicate. Gritty tracks such as the “Gettin’ Some Remix” which features Hip-Hop royalty, Too Short, Lil Wayne, Ludacris and Pharell, produced by XCel, has been disrupting airwaves and causing legions of post Sex and the City women to admit, being one of the guys is just as sexy.
During the 13-track, bass driven odyssey, Disturbing Tha Peaces (DTP) resident ’round the way diva partners up with her legendary father, blues guitarist Buddy Guy, in order to capture the soul and essence of Block Music. “Chicago” a mid tempo collaboration is one of the songs the duo builds. Produced by The Yung Bosses featuring fellow Chi-town natives, Avant and Malik Yusef, Shawnna’s affection toward everything good, bad or indifferent is sincerely expressed on this tribute song to her Chicago hometown.
The first track, “Can’t Do It Like Me” is the most disappointing song on Block Music. Shawnna’s rapid-fire flow coupled with production from seasoned hit maker Chucky Thompson spawns a song reminiscent of yet another Chi-town great, Da Brat. Then Shawnna’s DTP imprint kicks in with the sinister Vudu produced title track “Block Music (Bang)” featuring I-20. Vudu continues to bang out a variety of songs, like the addictive “Candy Coated” featuring 8-Ball and MJG to the passionate “In Tha Chi” featuring Johnny P. and Syleena Johnson. “Take It Slow”, featuring DTPs own Ludacris and Bobby Valentino, displays Shawnna’s softer side. So does the catchy, femme song “Damn” featuring Smoke of Field Mob.
Shawnna has proven her ability to merge street and sweet. The playful “Lil Daddy What’s Good” produced by Staybent Krunk-a-Delic and super producer Salaaremi will empower women. While the sexy “Hit the Back/Slide In” produced by 110% Pure will seduce men.
Lyrically Shawnna is verified. “Can’t Break Me”, the second father/daughter collaboration featuring Shareefa, sums up Shawnna’s entire philosophy on Block Music: “Don’t let the game take me out/I’m taking out the game.”