It has been somewhat of a rapid ascension to the spotlight for Plies. He went from mixtapes to a burning single to a gold album quicker than most artists develop a following. Unfortunately, those are the usual symptoms for a sophomore slump. The Definition Of Real (Slip & Slide) avoids that mark of the beast and despite some flaws even has the capacity to surprise on occasion.
When the album opens with the Trey Songz assisted Im Da Man, fans get the feeling they are getting reintroduced to the gritty Plies the streets have cosigned. Behind its driving bass Who Hotter Than Me will have any sound system shaking. The customary T Pain feature Watch Dis is a head knocker as well, featuring a boastful Plies, as well as inspired production from Drumma Boy.
Fans of Plies more reflective style will feel right at home when they hear the Patti Labelle inspired sample on Somebody (Loves You). It features Plies at his best, pouring his soul with Pattis voice behind sincere lyrics reminiscent of Runnin My Mama Crazy off his freshman LP. Keeping that same insightful momentum is the subtle production on 1 Day. The Florida native matches the emotion of the beat and provides what may be one of his best efforts on the disc.
Directed at his female audience is Bust It Baby Pt.2. The first single showcases nice production and smooth crooning courtesy of Neyo. #1 Fan is another track that may catch the listeners attention. It ends the album off with its radio friendly production, and features 2 popular singers (J.Holiday & Keisha Cole) who have made there own radio rounds.
Although the album is filled with good efforts, his youth is still visible when it comes to mic skills (Bushes). There is a lack of real growth, and signs of an identity crisis. This flaw is quite apparent when you hear a gutter street soundtrack (Sh*t Bag) to tracks that sound straight out of Al B Sure discography (Please Excuse My Hands).
The Definition of Real comes off just as its name describes. A bit of edge may be gone, replaced by some smoother sounds, and growing pains make themselves known through pacing and subject matter, but his sophomore endeavor reminds you that he does have talent and just may yet surprise a few of us.
Plies Featuring Neyo
"Bust It Baby Pt. 2"
Plies Featuring Trey Songz
"I'm Da Man"