The Death Of Willie Lynch

Artist: Black IceTitle: The Death Of Willie LynchRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Nadiyah R. Bradshaw

Most know him from his successful stint on Russel Simmons' Def Poetry Jam, but Philly's own Black Ice is more than a wordsmith. The man born Lamar Manson he is also a bonafide MC, cleverly spewing artistic lyrics over Eric Greene aka Booty produced tracks. The Death of Willie Lynch (Koch), showcases Ice's raw, gritty cadence. He

draws the listener into his music and makes you

interested in the outcome of his grand tales.

"Lone Soldier" featuring songstress Chinablac is a track that is all too familiar. It draws on the ever present theme of the dynamic of father/daughter relationship when the parents are no longer together. The acoustic guitar, along with the piano and the gentle yet hard-hitting chorus. "Daddy do you love me or I am just a part of your reality, because clearly it seems that I am not your number one priority," are so in tune that you feel the pain in his voice over not

always being there to tuck his baby girl in at night. It gives voice to the often forgotten father who is trying to be a presence in his child's life.

Quite frankly, the most poignant song on Ice's debut album is the aply titled "The Ugly Show." Black Ice touches on the catastrophic phenomemon of Hurricane Katrina. This politically charged song passionately conveys his dismay with the devastation folks of the diaspora endured in trying to pick up the pieces in the disaster's aftermath. The hook is taken from Faith Evans,

"Love Don't Live Here Anymore." Which pretty much

sums up the song's overall message.

With guest appearances from notable neo-soul

mavericks, Musiq and Natalie Stewart of Floetry, Ice has a very well-rounded first effort. It might not go platinum, or even gold but he should be rewarded for novel production and positive lyrics. It's good music. He does not subjugate women or glorify drugs, money and cars. Instead it's a man telling the masses, who will listen, what Ice is all about. A black man living in the wilderness of North America, trying to overcome the Willie Lynch ideology that has kept his people in shackles for centuries, and it's cold...real cold.