Artist: Adonis Star
Album: The Hustle EP
The Hustle is a bold an brassy, but overall unsurprising effort. The usual suspects are all here: money, drugs, ghettos, haters. Fortunately, Adonis Star spits convincingly over well-conceived loops.
The central theme of this EP seems to be inscribed in “Ghetto Love”, as a portion of the lyrics are printed in the liner notes. “You’re from the ghetto/but you deserve the best”, says Adonis Star. It is a song about keeping a ghetto mentality about you while striving for better things.
He croons to lover Cocaine on “Cocaine, Man”, a gut-wrenching account of the demise of a blow-fiend, who sold his “ice, his wedding ring” to get his fix. With the skit that acts a foreword to this track, it is apparent that the man left his wife for this new lover. For shame.
“Get Your Paper Right” may fall on unconvinced ears. “Time is money/Ain’t tryin ta spend a dime” he quips. keeping a tight watch on money/time is no way to throw a ice-melting sculpture party or go on a bender, and it translates into a misconceived anthem.
“Outro is probably the brashest and most inventive song on the EP. I have never heard a five-minute outro, for one thing, for another it is interesting to hear such an olde-English sort of brass loop being brought with no standard over-riding rhythm. Adonis and handclaps drive the song, as the bass and bongos either follow the horns or provide extra accents.
The Hustle, in general does not jump out at me, but I can imagine there is an audience for it. But, I must take issue on two points: 1) The Jersey emcee proudly represents on “Jersey Thing.” Now, i do not seek to look down at homesteads, but I am hard-pressed to take seriously the name checking of Hoboken. [I am not suggesting that Star is from Hoboken, but the name is thrown in amongst others.] 2) The rhyming of the words ‘school’ and ‘fool’ is the second most-overused couplet ever (the first is ‘school’ and ‘cool’).
Two bonus tracks round out an already generous helping of an EP.