July 27, 2023

Bizzy Bone - Speaking In Tongues (2005)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap
Label Number: SMC 105

© 2005 845 Entertainment
With a title referencing his wild, much-talked-about 2005 appearance on the Houston radio show Damage Control, Bizzy Bone welcomes your confusion on Speaking in Tongues, a driven and scrappy full-length that's a more street-level follow-up to his cryptic 2004 album Alpha and Omega. Last time out, Bizzy surrounded his spiritual raps with glorious production and packaged it with a bonus DVD that told the Bone man's story. This time out, production and packaging are lean and Bizzy's raps are even more detached from the mainstream. He's actually sounding a lot like reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry on much of the album, shooting out metaphors that seem gibberish at a glance but flesh themselves out when Bizzy's new brittle snideness is accepted by the listener. Stomping over all doubters, "Bald Head Horse Man" sounds a lot like one of Perry's characters/monikers, as boasts and brags alternate with nonsensical asides and trucker speak, with Bizzy crying out "breaker! breaker!" into his spiritual CB radio. God's name is once again dropped in every song, along with the usual Ns, Fs, and MFs Bizzy's so familiar with, but there's plenty here that breaks away from anything the man's done before. Something evil is fighting hard to get out of the man during the first verse of "Seeing Things," but if Bizzy is just crazy and not crazy like a fox à la Perry, how could he pull off the slinky-cool second verse by rapidly shooting off the lyrics like he hasn't lost any of his touch? The album's title is truth in advertising elsewhere, with "Beauty (You Just a Rose)," "He Told Me," and "Shake Ya Stick" all sounding like Bizzy's about to unhinge, but each one contains lyrical darts that hit the bull's-eye, even through the album's weird sonics. The productions -- mostly from Tightanniam Beats or Eddie B -- are either densely packed or very sparse, but almost every track wraps Bizzy's voice in plenty of echo and reverb, making this an even odder-sounding album. "Man-up" for the second coming seems to be the message, and whether or not you're a believer, Bizzy's delivery is convincing and direct -- up to the last track, that is. "All Good" is a paranoid rambler that brings those "Bizzy's crazy" rumors to mind, but that's probably just what he wants, since it keeps them talking, keeps them coming back. The Great Manipulator's last few albums have been nothing if not interesting. Speaking in Tongues comes in right below fascinating.

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 tags: bizzy bone, speaking in tongues, 2005, flac,