The Deal: 27-year-old Raleigh native now living in the Q.C., hip-hop artist Reggie Rymes releases Portrait of a Struggle.
The Good: The nine-track disc focuses on the message more than the music. Not to detract from the beats, but the words are the centerpiece providing the message of struggles on the street and in life. Poetic lyrics keep it strong. The triple assault of Rymes, Solrac and V.I. on "Speedballin'" makes it the album's strongest track. The rhymes on "No Surprise" are reminiscent of Tupac.
The Bad: Not much to complain about. The music on the title track gets a bit long-winded at the end. I felt like I was watching a film's closing credits – the movie's always better than when the credits roll.
The Verdict: This isn't hip-hop with a hook. It takes a rougher approach that conveys more emotion in another example of quality hip-hop music that's being created in the Charlotte area.