The Day After

Artist: TwistaTitle: The Day AfterRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Jessica Dufresne

Sometimes making it big suddenly is more trouble than it’s worth. Twista might know this better than anyone as he drops the follow-up to his platinum Kamikaze. Although he was already well known and respected for years before MTV cared, it wasn’t until “Slow Jamz” and “Overnight Celebrity” that he saw mainstream love. Now, without the man behind those hits, and facing his own version of the potential sophomore slump, Twista proves that there is a tomorrow on The Day After (Atlantic).

Things start off eerily with a reporter’s voice stating that Twista smashed his car into a building, kamikaze-style and questions whether he’ll survive. The answer is yes, as our hero gets affirmation from Syleena Johnson on the proceeding title track. With her rich and passionate vocals, she lets Twista know he’s gonna make it over a brooding piano-looped foundation. In “Check That Hoe,” he asserts his purpose by saying, “I just wanted them to see what my CD was like/Hip-Hop is in a state as if it was a baby being murdered/I just wanna feed it poetry Pedialyte.” In that medication is a mix of sex, pimpology, screwed, and more sex songs.

The lead single, “Girl Tonite,” features Trey Songz and uses ‘80s R&B group Ready For The World’s classic “Tonight” to lay down how Twista’s girl makes him feel and vice versa. It gets raunchier as the Queen Bee goes head to head (no pun intended) with the Midwest boss rhyming about how they couldn’t help but “Do Wrong” and cheat on their partners. The Rev. Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” provides the sample and its use would no doubt have the legend calling for atonement. The DJ Smurf produced “Hit The Floor” is another sexually charged track soliciting girls at the club to do just that, with a little Spanish flavor from Pitbull added to the mix. Things relax when the Neptunes take charge with the dreamy, African drum-beat on “Lavish” and then with the surefire monster club hit, “Get You Home—A.I.O.U.,” featuring Pharell and Jamie Foxx on the hook.

Although the content can get monotonous (was he horny when writing the album?), Twista definitely has plenty of singles here thanks to production by The Neptunes, DJ Smurf, and Scott Storch, among others, and not to mention all the guests. The Day After proves that he was no overnight mainstream celebrity last year, and that he doesn’t need his Windy City pal to move units.