Album Track Listing
Release Date: 23 September 2003
Reviewed By: Melisa Tang
1. Average Man
3. Got Some Teeth
4. Lady (feat. Eminem)
5. Don't Come Down
6. The Set Up (feat. Nate Dogg)
8. S*** Hits The Fan (feat. Dr Dre)
9. Follow My Life
10. We All Die One Day (feat. 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Eminem)
11. Spread Yo S*** (feat. Kon Artis)
15. Oh! (feat. Busta Rhymes)
16. Never Forget Ya
17. Outro (feat. D12, Eminem)
J Blige - Love & Life
The latest release from Eminem's Shady Records is that of Obie Trice, the Detroit cat who's been under Em's wing for the best part of the last three years. His debut LP, 'Cheers', is executive produced by the one and only Slim Shady, so you know that the album will be quality material. As if having Eminem on board wasn't enough, Obie has also recruited Dr Dre and Timbaland, who contribute to five of the nineteen tracks on the 80 minute CD. Collaborations come in the form of Nate Dogg, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Eminem and Dr Dre, providing Obie with an impressive track listing before the album is even out of its packaging.
The opening song is a good testament as to how the rest of the album will sound, as Obie unleashes his skillful and witty flow over an Eminem-produced beat on 'Average Man'. The comical first single, 'Got Some Teeth', is one of the lighthearted tracks on 'Cheers', with the beat and style of lyrics at times reminiscent of Eminem's hit 'Without Me'. 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks of G-Unit join Obie on the heavy 'We All Die One Day', with Banks delivering one of the best verses on the track, despite the presence of 50 and Eminem. 50's "favourite white boy" also appears on the controversial Ja Rule diss, 'Sh*t Hits The Fan', alongside Dr Dre. Although the taunts aimed at Murder Inc. are quite amusing, ("This little n**** Ja Rule talkin' bout he's gon slap me / N**** please, you gotta jump and swing up to hit me in the knees"), it's a shame that the beef between 50 Cent and Ja Rule is being dragged onto Obie Trice's set, somewhat spoiling the flow of the LP.
Nevertheless, Obie proves that he's got skills on 'Bad B****', produced by the beatmaster Timbaland, 'Look In My Eyes' featuring Nate Dogg, and the hilarious 'Hoodrats', where Obie mocks the haters who continually compare him to his mentor Eminem and his label mate, 50 Cent: "He ain't sh*t 'cause he rap for Mr. Mathers / Plus 50 Cent is like, ten times badder." Another hot track is 'Hands On You', a song about commitment in a relationship, where Eminem sings on the hook: "There ain't nothin' we can't do, any problem we can see it through / Baby if you promise to be true, I will never put my hands on you."
However, the album seems to go downhill from there, with the remaining songs failing to wow fans, even though there are guest appearances by both D12 and Eminem. Even the collabo with Busta Rhymes, 'Oh!', is distinctly average, with Busta wasting his rap skills by just singing on the hook.
Overall, Obie Trice has not failed to deliver. There is no doubt that he has the talent to succeed in the rap game, but the real test will be in winning over the haters, who constantly accuse him of riding on Eminem's phenomenal worldwide success. For now though, the fans should be satisfied with the impressive debut that is 'Cheers'.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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