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Thursday, September 7, 2006

Dirt 2 Diamonds

Posted on Thu, Sep 7, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Dirt 2 Diamonds
Label: Mercy Soldier
Length: LP
Rated: NONE
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Dirt 2 Diamonds
Speaking over the same dark '80s synth usually reserved for a murder scene in a Showtime soft-core, Orlando rapper Seven asserts, 'I didn't come here with Beyonce/No this ain't Jay-Z.â?� One could forgive the misunderstanding. Seven sounds eerily similar ' in baritone, inflection and even material references ' to the God MC's earliest work, and he wastes no time in helping along those who haven't made the connection by the first verse. From the Jay-Z quotes on the Lenny Kravitz vibe of 'Hip Hop,â?� ('Brush off my shoulder/Where my real jiggas at/Used to think it was Bonnie and Clydeâ?�) and the assumption of his between-verse mannerisms (casual asides, mild chuckles), this apparent obsession sometimes disguises a surprisingly capable flow and the ability to stay ahead of a beat ' usually a good indicator of star quality. Idol worship is certainly nothing new, nor is it necessarily detrimental (where would we be if Dylan didn't emulate Guthrie's every move in his early years?) but tracks like the amusing but pointless 'Cuttie Buddyâ?� and the Miami-wannabe 'Doeshaâ?� ignore Jigga's flawless ghetto storytelling and focus only on his flashier moments. If Seven can pimp a Maybach without paying his narrative dues, then more power to him, but it's doubtful those are handed out. Just ask your hero.

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