Mista Cane - In My Life
In My Life
Pervelous P. Entertainment/Koch Entertainment
Produced by: Davey D. Cohn, Sean T, One Drop Scott
Featuring: The Game, Rasco, Sean T, San Quinn, ProHoeZak, Planet Asia, Mike Marshall, Selau
After a long wait that included some great mixtapes and signing a distribution deal with Koch Records, Mista Cane has finally dropped In My Life, a new solo album to follow 2001's The World As I See It and 2002's Who Am I? Now We Begin... Cane made a couple good decisions on this release...1) Using only three producers which keeps the album cohesive and 2) Minimizing guest rappers. Having guests on only six of nineteen cuts puts the album closer to an actual "solo album" and helps people pay more attention to what Cane has to offer. It would be nice if other rappers would try to incorporate these ideas into their releases.
In My Life opens with "Right Now," a short track intended to draw the listener into the album. The backdrop provided by Davey D. Cohn mixed with some aggressive bars from Cane accomplishes just that. The first of three features on the album from The Game comes on "The Anthem," which also features Sean T. Cane more than holds his own alongside Bay Area OG Sean T and one of the hip hop world's biggest stars. DJ Iroc who mixed Cane's Contract Year mixtape provides the scratching on the track. The title track gives the listener a glimpse into Mista Cane's past and mindset and it's another winner from Davey D. Cohn who reworks Foreigner's 1985 classic, "I Want To Know What Love Is."
"Try" a smooth R&B tinged track for the ladies features backing vocals from the legendary Mike Marshall (formerly of Timex Social Club) who has quickly become the go-to guy for Bay Area rappers needing classic vocals for their tracks. Although Davey D. Cohn expertly handles thirteen of the nineteen tracks on the album, veteran One Drop Scott comes through with two of my favorites, "Friends" which is a somewhat depressing track about mistrust and lost friendships and "You Are Everything" which is a great ode to hip hop in the same vein as Common's "I Used To Love H.E.R." and "Act Too (Love Of My Life)" by The Roots among others. Cane cleverly expresses his love for hip hop music in a way that I'm sure many people can relate to. His lyrics are backed by Selau's soulful chorus and One Drop Scott's brilliant, sped-up rendition of The Stylistic's classic of the same name.
"...somethin' about you / made me hustle hard off the boulevard / to become somethin' they said I'd never amount to / in this life I question everything, but never doubt you / your history intrigues me / I can't live without you...
Another Bay Area OG, ProHoeZak (C-Funk for my fellow old school heads or Cap'n Crunch from Rated X for my fellow really old school heads), brings the chorus vocals on "In The Summer" which is a smooth, cruising track produced by Sean T. For the most part, Cane has a straightforward delivery, but on "I Remember" he flips it a little bit and rides the beat with a faster flow. It's different for him, but it adds another dimension to the album. The lyrical content here is similar to "In My Life." The very strong "Nightshift" has Mike Marshall on background vocals and Cane's stories of struggle over another great re-working by Davey D. Cohn. This time it's The Commodore's song of the same name.
Other noteworthy tracks on In My Life include the California ode, "Cali State Of Mind," "Slow Down," "Ain't No Sunshine" featuring Cali Agents (Rasco and Planet Asia) and "Hard Work" featuring Rasco.
The hyphy movement has made for a very sad, monotonous few years in Bay Area hip hop. Too many new booties (and some OG's) have mimicked each other's bad music to the point where they've essentially cancelled each other out. A handful of artists like The Jacka and San Quinn have stuck to their guns and put out music with actual lyrics and musicianship.
Mista Cane is another one of those artists and hopefully he, along with the others, will be able to climb out of the glut that hyphy has put the Bay in. In My Life is a strong step in the right direction for him.
Download "Hard Work" featuring Rasco off the In My life album.
Download Mista Cane's Contract Year mixtape.
Pervelous P. Entertainment
Davey D. Cohn