(AUTHOR'S NOTE: Trae's album is a 4 disk set that includes a 2 Disk Slabbed (Chopped and Screwed) version with bonus tracks not found on the album and a DVD that features "A Day In The Life" of Trae.)
Judging from the titles of his albums alone, Trae is not the one to listen to if you are looking for uplifting or "happy" music. "Losing Composure" was his first release, one which gained him a large amount of fans throughout the south and elsewhere. His second release definitely continues the theme established in his first release and is aptly titled "Same Thing Different Day." Though his Guerilla Maab click, which includes Z-Ro and lesser known emcee Dougie D, has become increasingly popular, Trae still seems to have a few problems he wants solved before he can fully enjoy his success.
The intro sets the theme of the rest of the CD as the simple, yet haunting, piano riffs leave chills down your spine while you hear a female singing "ain't nobody holding us down" in the background. Trae follows this with "Assholes By Nature" where he introduces himself and his click:
"Z-Ro, I tried to chill but they got me wired up
And all these niggaz leaching your name, done got me fired up
These niggaz ain't real, I swear to God that they hoes
Let's see how much they got to say, with a 4-4 to they nose
I'm bout to bring it to the face, when they fuck with the Maab
It's like we been against the world, since we left out the yard
And I don't trust, nan nigga Ro
The only reason they around, cause they know we gon blow
But everything will be revealed, in a matter of time
I'm constantly on a mission, until I'm laying em down
I only ask for the Lord, to forgive me for my sins
But everyday is the same thing, all over again
Shit done built up in my chest, so now I gotta let it free
Everybody and they mama, want me D-E-A-D
That's why my attitude done got me, with another reputation
But fuck jail, and tell the judge suck my dick fuck probation
I'm a soldier, and only for the streets I ride
You bitches got my brother every hour, with 3-65
Everything is coming soon, so get ready for the war
We gon come for the war, and I ain't leaving with a scar
Only way that I'ma leave, is if I'm in a pine box
And you gon know that it be real, when you hear the nine shots
Dear mama, I feel like your son is going for the edge
They should of never let me wake up, on the wrong side of the bed
And I got no understanding, cause this world is a trip
And I don't wanna be a victim, so I'm loading a clip
Ready to mash like a lunatic, with my mug on
And ain't no need for me to rest, cause I'm in a slug zone
It ain't no fairy tale my nigga, so don't try to be cool
You don't wanna get involved, with that A.B.N. dude"
Though Trae flows for around 3 minutes straight on this track, this part of his verse captures the theme of his album the best. Throughout "Same Thing Different Day" Trae consistently deals with the haters, biters, the struggles of coming up, and the attitude those struggles create in a person.
"Screwed Up Click" actually starts off sounding playful with flutes and pianos bouncing off the bass line, but once the verses and hook kick in it's evident Trae, Hawk, and 3-2 aren't playing when they tell imitators of the infamous Screwed Up Click (S.U.C.) to "give us 50 feet and get the fuck off our dick." "Don't Fake" automatically pops out to any hip-hop fan as it features both Bun-B and Devin The Dude, and who deliver good performances over the track's fast-flowing string arrangement . "Stay Out My Way" once again deals with haters, declaring that Trae is not the one to be fucked with, only this time he's representing his own S.L.A.B. (Slow Loud And Banging) click as opposed to the S.U.C. To Trae's credit, despite dealing with the same topic on different tracks he manages to capture your attention and avoid sounding repetitive. He does address the haters often, but one gets the feeling Trae is only responding to the pressures of the music industry and upholding his legacy as a member of DJ Screw's click rather than just declaring his superiority.
"In The Ghetto" actually changes the pace as far as topic goes with Trae sounding more mellow and less menacing on this track. Trae also addresses the problems of the ghetto and the seemingly cyclic way of life in impoverished neighborhoods on "Same Thing Different Day." "I've Been Hustling" deals with Trae's frustration with being poor and the hardships of making money in the hood. The beat on this track is almost R&B as opposed to hip-hop and features Dallas providing the smooth singing on the hook. Dallas shows up once again on the equally pleasing "Time After Time" where his crooning fits Trae's flow perfectly as he reminisces over his deceased mentor DJ Screw. Z-RO show's up for "Let Me Live" where he drops a solid verse over a laid back piano beat that captures the essence of Houston funk. Happy Perez provides his mellow, almost country, production for "On Your Own" which features Louisiana's own C-Loc of Concentration Camp and Young Bleed fame.
"Same Thing Different Day" has no real standout tracks, but it also lacks any bad tracks or filler material. The best word to describe this album is consistent, it's consistently good and it consistently deals with the same main themes. Even the tracks mentioned in this review are no better than any other track on the album, they are mostly noteworthy because of guest appearances. The production, though varied and very good, manages to maintain the same mellow mood for the entire album, matter of fact it would be a surprise if any track on the album exceeded 90 B.P.M. in tempo. Yes, Trae does deal with the same thing almost track after track, but rare is the emcee who does not. Trae's appeal comes from the fact that those topics he does deal with are noteworthy. One gets the impression Trae does not enjoy his success as others would because he has too much of a conscious to be happy with the situation around him. Though his life may have changed greatly, he realizes that for those who haven't had his success life is summed up by "Same Thing Different Day" and such a situation would make anyone lose composure. Trae should be commended, not only for being a gifted emcee, but for being able to recognize that the world doesn't revolve around him and that though his life has gotten better the struggle continues for the rest of us.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10
Originally posted: February 15, 2005