After the success of the feature film 'Men in Black 'The man himself', or more accurately, the man he likes to call himself released Big Willie style, a pop-rap album with a twist. The Dumb radio friendly lyrical content with simple slapped basslines creates one of the best pop albums to date.
Although he is very up himself, he hasn't forgotten his 80's retro afro do, nor his sheer crowd pleasing commercial ability. He makes refernces to 'the fresh prince', a few times in the album and keeps us drawn in with well produced sound and publicity driven raps.
The album kicks off with a hysterical crowd and a journalist labels him as 'The man himself', no doubt, that statement was his wish, and he truly does believe he's gods gift. Suprisingly, a lot of the tracks actually have nice instrumentation, slap bass aplenty. Y'all know proves his self-obsessed ways, calling himself "The most boombastic" and "Fantastic". Though his poor radio friendly lyrics make me smile; "More juice than Tropicana". The use of synthesizers really do sum up the sound of the album, no doubt all the instruments are computerised. The highlight musical-wise is the lounge piano in 'Chasing Forever', which peaks at the intro of the song.
Of course, the cheesiness is there, especially in the backing vocals of the singles; such as the ''Na na na's" in the beautifully catchy Miami and the ''Forever....'s" in, yep you guessed it, 'Chasing forever'.
'The man himself' isn't actually half bad at writing emotionally charged lyrics. 'Just the two of us' is easily the most well-written track, and is about his new-born son. he states that he would never let any harm come to him, and that he will always love him dearly, no matter what. The chorus holds my favourite lyric on the record, "Just the two of us, building castles in the sky", you have to admit, that's cute.
The tameness of it all does get a bit tiring after a while, and sometimes just down-right embarassing. This appears in Miami, where Will raps 'running up a high bill at the bar'. Unlike most Gangster rappers this is Wills idea of mischief, nevermind though, you can never have too many nice guys, in fact we could do with a few more.
There are some songs featuring fellow artists, such as the album titled track 'Big Willie Style' featuring Lisa Left Eye. unfortunately, this is a very mediocre filler track, in no way using Lisa to her full potential (R.I.P). There are quite a hefty handful of bland filler tracks, but most are subject to Will trying to be serious and diss other mc's. the fact that he trys to do it in such a nice way just doesn't work. His poor attempts at linking humour to the song title of 'Don't say nothing' hinders his dissing further, with the line 'if you don't say nothing, then I won't.
The great thing about this album is the singles are all perfect pop songs. 'Miami' is beautifully upbeat, 'gettin jiggy wit' it has a funkalicious slap-bass line, and just the two of us is suprisingly touching.
Last but not least, the theme to the feature-length 'Men in Black'. probably the greatest pop song ever recorded, complete with a cool funky bassline, and truly amazingly dumb lyrics. 'The good guys dress in Black, remember that'. This song definately makes the album, and will keep big Willie style in the back of people's minds for years to come.
My pop rating - 5/5.
My hip-hop rating - 1.5/5.
My overall rating - 2.5/5