Back when Clinton Portis was a rising star with the Denver Broncos, he had a defining game in the nationally televised Monday night showdown between the Broncos and their archrivals, the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only were the two teams competing on the prime time stage for the division title, but much hype was given to the head-to-head match up between two of the Nthe South’s premier running backs at the time, Portis and the Chiefs’ Priest Holmes. Holmes was the proven veteran, the reigning rushing king. Portis was the explosive young buck looking to bum rush the throne. In front of millions of viewers across the country, the two backs put on a memorable show, but Portis escaped the undisputed winner. With the game well in hand (in the Broncos favor) and the final minutes ticking away, Portis pranced along the sidelines mugging for the camera, then surprised everyone by breaking out an unusual prop: an oversized, WWE-style championship belt. He was declaring himself the new champ and he wanted to everyone to know it. Who gave him that belt? None other than Floridian rapper Pastor Troy.
Portis, an alum of the University of Miami, was well aware of PT’s champion status in the South. Known for his fiery street anthems, Troy makes perfect “get hype” music, it’s no wonder he’s on heavy rotation in pre-game rituals for many athletes. His latest offering, “Stay Tru” continues this theme. He’s an unabashed screamer, a Lil’ Jon growl on caffeine pills. He suits his purpose well, sure to get your heart rate up and ready to tackle the next poor sucker who crosses your path. If Ray Lewis had theme music, it’d sound like something off of “Stay Tru”.
The obvious downside is that most of the time, we’re not in a “get hype” mood. Unless you’re lacing up at the local Y for a hellacious game of pickup b-ball with 50-year-old accountants or participating in some shady amateur fight circuit in someone’s basement, you’re probably gonna get tired of “Stay Tru” real quick. From “Me Actin’ Up” to “Police Can’t Break It Up” to “Well Un Huh” to “Watcha Say” to “Attitude Adjuster” to “Get Down Or Lay Down”, PT is out to overdose you with adrenaline, even if it sounds like a broken record. He’ll stop to take a breath every now and then, like “Lyin’ Bout Her Crib” where Troy describes his leery skepticism of scandalous girls, but then it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming. Troy logically sticks to what works for him, but the reality is that it just won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. “Stay Tru” is a classic example of a niche album: if you’re not in the right mood, it’ll backfire and have the exact opposite effect than what was intended.