Check It or Respect It (Masco)

Rapper Tweezy's debut CD contains well-crafted, soul-infused instrumentals buoyed by smooth, captivating lyrics. Respect takes its cues from the gospel overtones of "Church," which is also saturated with street-funk and Tweezy's unique, nasally delivery. The funkiness continues with the thought-provoking "Live Yo' Life," featuring Masco labelmate Bishop. Budding rap diva Spanish Fly holds court with Tweezy on the club banger "Move Wit Me," while fellow labelmates Tone and A-Ski join Tweezy on the head-bobbing, trunk-rattling "Rep This." Not to be outdone by guest star appearances, though, the 25-year-old emcee (born Andre Cheers) holds his own on solo offerings such as "What's Hot" and "Radio Guttuh." Tweezy's debut — the antithesis of the pop-friendly sound known to come from the Lou — makes it clear that he, Masco and the Hot Barrell Family (Tweezy's requisite crew of rappers waiting in the wings) are champing at the bit to become St. Louis' newest kings of the independent block. If Respect is any indication of what's to come from the label, it won't take long for them to stake that claim in the very near future.

More by Toriano L. Porter

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