Rise Thru Da Ranks

Artist: Young BleedTitle: Rise Thru Da RanksRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Anthony “Lil Koop” Carr

Imagine being on the roster of one of the hottest labels to emerge from the South. Imagine being on that same label and helping to create one of the hottest singles its released. Now imagine you drop your album, receive critically acclaimed praises, but lackluster sales and promotions. Finally imagine that going on for three albums, three labels deep. That’s the rap life of Baton Rouge, Louisiana born Young Bleed. Now on route to return to the mainstream that knew him for his laid back flow and lyrical skill on the hit single “How You Do Dat”, Young Bleed returns with Rise Thru Da Ranks, From Earner Tugh Capo (West Coast Mafia), via Sac-town rapper C-Bo’s West Coast Mafia Records.

Rise Thru Da Ranks begins with the Bear produced “Up n’ At Um’”. Bleed easily flows over the smooth basslines spitting the rhymes that made him familiar to the southern region. “Off Da’ Curv” may sound off tune until the 808 kicks with C-Pone and Bleed trading tales of the local drug block. C-Bo lends a few bars with Bleed on the poor man’s g-funk imitating the “U’ Kno’ I Know”, which along with 151 and John Silva doesn’t help save the song. “Bloc Bleeda” re-amps the album with Bleed sharing the mic once again with C-pone over Tha Aliens produced track, definitely satisfying those that rep their neighborhood but the car audio enthusiast as well. Bleed maintains to shine undoubtedly, though some of his guests fail at their spots; see “Mississippi Tugh Louisiana” and “Guerilla War Fare”.

Bleed once again brings quality lyrics, good production, and a battle plan to make that “rise”. The only downfall to the album is the constant guest appearances. With 17 out of 18 tracks having a guest, some songs with 2 or more, it may feel like Bleed presents.. more than a solo album. Regardless of guests, Bleed holds his own track after track maintaining the sound and style that fans remember. With a few changes as far as guests, continuing to be himself, and maintaining relationships on both the south and west coast, we may be hearing that Bleed buzz in the mainstream again.