CD: Back Alive – The I’m Holding EP
Home: Brooklyn, New York
Quote: “The only difference between Zawles and rappers like Lil’ Wayne is radio play.”
By Beeb Ashcroft
If you’re looking for a new rap disc to blare in your car, give Zawles’ Back Alive EP a spin. Listeners who enjoy MTV Jams and like rap songs about money, cars, and girls will love this CD. For the genre, it’s well done – the only difference between Zawles and rappers like Lil’ Wayne is radio play. Zawles’ trademark is his “Lazy Flow,” which he devotes the opening track to. His raps are well structured, and I liked his use of samples.
This is a brief EP that mainly showcases the cut “I’m Holdin'” – featuring both the uncensored and radio-friendly versions, with an instrumental thrown in for good measure. A solid track about “hustlin’,” Zawles showcases his flow and spits about his life. There are 4 other tracks on the EP, and despite the questionable title, “Get ya P***y Wet/Nuttin’ Wrong,” is actually the best rap on this CD, musically speaking. He leaves the lazy flow behind during a lot the verses, and delivers quick rhymes in a feat of vocal gymnastics. I actually like this delivery a lot, and I think it showcases his talents better than the “lazier” rhymes. This track also makes excellent use of samples – I enjoyed the use of guitar, and thought everything sat together really well. He lost me somewhat at the chorus, with the refrain “Bend over, show ya thong! Get ya P***y wet! Let ’em know you not a ho, get ya P***y wet!”; but that’s just me.
“Straight Hustlaz” is another standout cut, with a melodic groove that I liked a lot. “Sinful Life” is a slower track featuring soft female vocals in the chorus, a rapper’s lament about the hardships of street life. All things considered, this EP is nothing groundbreaking – it’s pretty standard Top 40 rap, but it’s polished and well thought out, and just as deserving of your time as any mainstream rap disc.