Sticking with his happy-hour inspired album titles, Obie Trice’s long-delayed Bottoms Up — the album was pushed back several times since its projected release in the summer of 2008 — leaves one wondering whether the glass has any potent potion left, and, if so, how much?
The beat on “Bottoms Up Intro,” courtesy of Dr. Dre, has a deadening redundancy — like being beaten senseless after spilling a drink on the wrong guy at the bar — that mirrors much of the lyrical content on the track, as Obie goes on to ceaselessly thank fans and friends for their support.
“Dear Lord” sounds alarmingly dated (as do many songs on the album), with a hook that utilizes the mother of all hip-hop cliches, a vocal sample of Al Pacino in “Scarface.” Hopefully that trend, along with rappers referencing their Twitter accounts, will end here — let us pray. Unfortunately, the hook’s lack of inventiveness is mirrored in Trice’s rhymes (he rhymes “boy boy” with “toy toy”).
The album’s saving grace is “Richard,” which is carried by Detroit’s finest MC — Eminem. His sadistic multisyllabic lyrical and metaphorical rhyme acrobatics are, as always, hilarious and inventive. That, coupled with the side splittingly juvenile hook Eminem probably wrote (“Call me Richard / ’Cause I’m a dick”) and Statik Selektah’s refreshing production, makes this one of the only lyrical libations on this album that goes down your earhole smoothly.
Overall, Bottoms Up feels like the half-hearted bemoaning of a rhymer who still believes that the tastes of 2008 fit just as well in today’s drastically different hip-hop game as they did years ago. For now, it might be a good bet to go with a richer, fuller and older brand of Obie.