A+ exhibited enough potential on his debut album Latch Key Kid for many to consider him as being one of hip-hop's most promising future lyrical assassins. After all you do not hear many 14-year-old shorties rocking the mic as profusely as he did on his debut. However after a two-year layoff in between LP's, A+ has moved on to more adult topic matter and seems eager to present himself as hip-hop's version of Usher. But not only has A+ lost his innocence, he has also lost any sense of originality. One of A+'s major drawbacks is he tends to mimic the flow of whomever he is teamed up with, whether it be Canibus, or Psycho Drama. He waters down this recording with blatant crossover reaches like "Don't Make Me Wait" and "Price of Fame." "What Da Deal" f/ Cardan is especially disheartening, as both MCs trade woeful verses and Cardan sounds like a carbon copy of Mase or Cam'ron. The few gems on this album stick out like a sore thumb, since they're few and far between. A+ brings guaranteed action with cuts like the heavily mix-tape circulated "Boy II Men" featuring Lost Boyz & Canibus, and a surprisingly tight collaboration "Watcha Weigh Me" featuring MJG. When A+ sticks to simple, yet effective beats and rhymes, he reaps the benefits, as on "Parkside Garden." A+ desperately needs to find his own unique identity and style. "Hempstead High" is aptly titled as it is a high schoolish effort at best; hopefully, with his next LP A+ will mature mentally, instead of physically, and come into his own.
sábado, marzo 03, 2007
::::: Andre Levins aka. A+ :::::
Andre Levins (born August 29, 1982 in Hempstead, New York) is an American rapper, also known as A+.His career began in 1995, when he won a national competition sponsored by Def Jam Records. He was discovered by Kedar Massenburg and was the first artist signed to his label, Kedar Entertainment. In 1996, at the age of 13, A+ released his first album, The Latch-Key Child. In 1999 he released Hempstead High. The Latch Key Child widely regarded as his best albumHe scored his biggest hit in 1999, with "Enjoy Yourself" (which used samples from "A Fifth of Beethoven" by Walter Murphy which in turn sampled Beethoven's Fifth Symphony), which became an international success.
________________________________________In 1996, 13-year-old A+ took the hip hop world by storm with this great debut, "The Latch-Key Child." The Hempstead, Long Island native had barely entered his teenage years but commanded great respect on the mic, displaying a hard, intelligent style fitting of the grimy New York underground scene. A+ asserts himself lyrically, and he also tells stories, speaks of his growing up, and makes a few catchier tracks aimed for the mainstream. You will not believe that this great rapper is only 13, he is so intelligent and hardened, and he is not constrained by profanities. While there are no big-name producers, the production is consistently outstanding, always matching his lyricism. There are a few club/party songs, each produced very well, but the rest of the songs have a very grimy, underground sound to them. A+ is also aided by an awesome crew of guest rappers, including Q-Tip, Prodigy, and AZ, three of NYC's best. "The Latch-Key Child" is a really awesome album and another that is shamefully slept-on and overlooked
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