The People Vs.

Artist: Trick TrickTitle: The People Vs.Rating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Henry Adaso

As Cassidy or Snoop Dogg would probably tell you, being accused of murder can make you a very rich man. Having received a clean slate on an alleged murder charge that landed him a seven month stint behind bars in 2004, it was only natural that the 33-year old Christian Mathis (known to the world as Trick Trick) traded in his street life for music hustle. By capitalizing off his first major deal and achieving what had eluded him at Click Boom Records nearly 14 years ago, Rock-city’s own Tricky has crafted a manifesto that chronicles his jagged past. Like the album art, however, The People Vs (Motown) is far from being a well-balanced album.

The aforementioned murder charge is the subject of Trick’s musing on “M-1” (a slang that implies first degree murder), where he barks out “not guilty” with DMX steeze over a gritty drum shiver. You can almost hear the snares gasping for air as they strive to keep pace with Trick on the congratulatory “Get Bread”, and “My Name Is Trick Trick” – one of several thug braggadocio-themed tracks on The People Vs. The latter touches on his well-publicized fracas with Trick Daddy; “Trick Daddy broke my arm? C’mon you saw the tape/ain’t nobody breaking shit this way…/I don’t whoop na’n nigga for nothin’/U got stomped then you had to do somethin’ (b**yotch!)”.

Things are not all ugly on this album, as the Goon Squad chief discards his gruffness for the pulsating “Leave Your Past”. As expected, the joint reaffirms the power of moving on, but takes an unusual turn evolving into an elongated instrumentation for an additional minute or so. An affiliate of Trick’s for over a decade named Eminem (you may have heard of him) lends his superstar hands on the radio-active “Welcome to Detroit”, but plunders into mediocrity on the insipid “No More To Say” alongside Proof (of D-12). Not even Jazze Pha’s catchy ditty “Attitude Adjustment” is enough to offset the Lil’ Jon regurgitations on “Let’s Scrap” and “Head Bussa”, both poorly-sequenced as track-closers.

Trick fails by allowing trite gangsterisms to outweigh substance, but successfully concocts an album that gives the world a peak into the mind of a relevant player in the Detroit Hip-Hop scene. Christian Mathis may have beaten his case against the state but the musical battle The People Vs. is a lopsided one with Trick Trick on the losing end.