Cassidy: B.A.R.S: The Barry Adrian Reese Story

From the belly of the beast, the valley of the shadow of death, and not

to mention a prolonged absence from the spotlight, Cassidy is back. 

The rapper’s ups and downs have been documented [life threatening injuries, murder raps, literally] as the Philadelphia young gun returns

with B.A.R.S: The Barry Adrian Reese Story (Full Surface/ J

Records). The album is a work reflecting those different varied

experiences from a period of his life when his very existence and

freedom were less likely than platinum. The “Intro” is set in

an arena with a boxing feel featuring Cassidy in a battle for split

personality supremacy between BARS and Da Hustler. The rugged low

speed track is bolstered by the crowd as backdrop. The first single “My

Drink N’ My 2 Step” is an anthem for all the Patron drinkers who can’t

really boogie. Swizz provides the beat and a very catchy hook, which

has already been knocking in the clubs for a long time. On a

more serious note, Cass addresses his situation with the law with

“Innocent.” He tells his side of the story behind his issues

facing prison and time served. Swizz is alive on the track as it’s no

simple loop. The keys and the drum pattern are active, changing the

mood and the pace of the song. The Hustla follows perfectly on this

great narrative. His reflective disposition is extended with “I

Pray.” Cassidy gets his God forgive a sinner on a la Tupac as he flows

over a mix of hard drums and flutes provided by Gold and Logic.We

get equal portions of Cass’ original street essence on “Where My Ni**’s

At?” Infused with plenty of gun cocking, and weed references; all the

tough talk is reminiscent of some mid 90’s Mobb Deep. His energy

doesn’t really match the heavy Neo Da Matrix beat but he flows fairly

well, albeit with the punchline setup delivery order. The joint does

have a few dope lines and not surprisingly a few predictable ones. Cass

does lose steam on a couple of tracks that just fall flat. “I Will

Never Tell (Uh Huh)” is your standard no snitch sentiment; as we have

heard before. The joint comes off as unnecessary especially in this

current climate while the chorus is annoying and the song is ordinary.

Basically, he’s better than this. Additionally his collaboration with

R&B crooner Mashonda on the obligatory “Take A Trip” doesn’t

connect for a knockout. This attempt at the ladies’ love seems forced

and could have been cut out all together.At the end of the day Cassidy doesn’t break any atoms with B.A.R.S.,

but he does show a clear progression in his artistry with this being

his most personal work. However, we still don’t get a classic. 

Hardcore fans will show love but the casual onlookers might not sit

through this trip chapter and verse. SOUNDCHECK:Cassidy "Innocent"Cassidy f/ Angie Stone "Leanin' On The Lord"