November 21, 2021

Bravehearts - Bravehearted (2003)

*U.S. first pressing. 
This pressing does not contain 
the "Oochie Wally (Remix)" bonus track.
Contains 14 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap, Pop Rap
Label Number: CK 86712

© 2003 Columbia Records
After quite a few promising guest shots, Bravehearts finally get the full-length treatment with Bravehearted. Naturally, Nas looms large. Jungle -- half of Bravehearts with Wiz -- is Nas' brother, and the album drops through Ill Will. The man himself also appears on three tracks, and acquires an executive producer credit. Still, Jungle and Wiz prove it's their show, stomping enthusiastically through a ragged, crude, and aggressive set. "B Train" sets the tone with stripped-down, distorted Dirty Swift percussion and the call to arms "Is you a Braveheart?/To the grave y'all." Then it's time for the diabolical chimes of "Quick to Back Down," which laces Bravehearts and Nas' hard East Coast bravado with Lil Jon's psycho crunk. Jon also helms "Cash Flow," but its rote gettin'-paper proclamations aren't as resonant. The women-and-money boast can still be a successful formula, however dubious it may be. Problem is, Bravehearts rely on it a little too much. After the lewd, yet somehow lighthearted "I Wanna," "Sensations" just sounds played out. Bravehearted's numerous interludes are similarly uninspired. Fortunately, Jungle and Wiz make the most of the album's stronger joints. They trade rhymes with Nas on the title track and "Situations" (which also features Jully Black), and reference the realism of their Queensbridge roots with the stark "Buss My Gun." The incredible "I Will" ends Bravehearted with its dizzy, appropriately apocalyptic production. Jungle and Wiz style the cut's chorus like a playground taunt, shading the brutal revenge fantasy with fatalistic sarcasm. It's a jarring, brutally effective end to a strong debut that, though flawed, moves Bravehearts boldly out of Nas' long shadow.

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tags: bravehearts, bravehearted, 2003, flac,