The Real Testament (Deluxe Version)
On his debut album Plies fills a niche previously occupied by rappers such as Young Buck. Rather than rely on purist rhyme skills, this Fort Myers, Florida, native puts a premium on his ghetto credentials. His point of view doesn’t deviate from the no-nonsense attitude of a street-bred hustler, but Plies is not without insight. “100 Years” is a vicious indictment of a justice system that favors the majority: “How in the f**k can four birds get you a life sentence? / But give a cracker seven years for money launderin' millions.” “Hypnotized” and “Shawty” exemplify the winning formula (perfected in recent years by Florida artists like DJ Khaled, T-Pain, and Flo Rida) in which a rough-and-ready rapper is paired with a sweetened club singer. However Plies’ signature songs are the ones that describe his ruffian lifestyle, club-hopping and cruising the streets with a posse of “goons.” “1 Mo Time,” “I Am the Club,” and “Goons Lurkin” are less about subject matter than unadulterated attitude, and they provide a near-perfect merger of club music adrenaline and gangsta rap menace.