Hardcore Hip-Hop has taken a hit since it’s mid-9o’s heyday, where rappers tried their best to be equally creative as crass. Gaining attention for the Motor City with his 2005 single “Welcome 2 Detroit,” featuring a then, red-hot Eminem, Trick Trick made a name for himself in the dwindling pool of strident MCs that defy the laws of “cashing in.” Fast forward three years and Trick Trick has a new bag treats for his sophomore project The Villain backed behind 100 proof verbal barbs and equally forcible production. But despite moralistic intentions, the album has its fair share of internal incongruity that pull the project to the middling proportions.
Adopting a moniker made infamous by MC Ren, Trick² makes good on living by the G-code seeing that The Villain mixes tales of the ghetto, gangstas and the gospel with modest results. “Can’t Fuck With My City” captures the ambiance of D-Town’s gritty side with guest vocals courtesy of Guilty Simpson and Marvwon and is a stark contrast to the spiritual revelation found in “You Told Me.” Adamant and abrasive, The Villain occasional paints portraits of a knowledge based canvas as shown over Dr. Dre’s illuminative, guitar-laced production on “Hold On” as well as the stadium rocking “Let’s Work!!!”
The Villain may have its heroic qualities but it does commit major offenses in the creativity department. Save for the peculiar “Follow Me” with its Pootie Tang-Latin , Trick Trick beats the basics to death, opting for tough talk nearly every line. Ice Cube drops in for predictable fodder over a pedestrian Lil’ Jon beat on “Let It Fly,” which basically rehashes the messages delivered on the bloated collaborations “U Can Get It Fucked Up” and “Somethin’ 4 Da Hataz.”
And then there’s the self-titled opener with its unwarranted disses towards homosexuals Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O’Donnell most notably. The track ultimately burns in contradictory fashion at album’s end where Trick² chooses to “Let Go” backed by a church choir.
Playing it by the numbers only gets you so far and the simplicity of The Villain eventually forces it to stall out more times than necessary. Not to say Trick Trick’s guilty of a Hip-Hop felony with this off and on roguish compilation, but a little more polish would have ensured that his lyrical sins were more commendable.