Cyssero AKA Rockstar :: Philly's Bad Guy :: Affiliated Records
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

Marcus Tullius Cicero was considered the greatest orator of ancient Rome. While Cyssero obviously took his name from the legendary orator, he has nothing in common with the man aside from possessing the ability to speak. Some rappers could be considered the great orators of our day, but Cyssero is no where near the top of the list when it comes to talented rappers. Frankly, Cyssero doesn't even give the top rapper on his label a run for his money. Cyssero's mediocrity is highlighted further by the hype surrounding how he got signed to Game's Black Wall Street Records. Apparently Cyssero found his way backstage during a Game concert and spit a few bars for the emcee. Somehow the Game was so impressed by the rapper's bars that he signed him on the spot. It's truly an amazing story and one on par with Big Pun's introduction to Fat Joe years ago, but sadly Cyssero fails to deliver the goods.

Cyssero isn't a completely inept rapper. His problem lies in the fact that he sounds like every other rapper you've ever heard on a mixtape. I'm not talking about the rappers who host the mixtapes or those whose songs are featured prominently. When I say Cyssero sounds like I mixtape rapper I mean the guys whose "freestyle" or song is featured at the tail end of the mixtape because they paid the DJ a couple of hundred dollars to get a feature. Those mixtape rappers are usually not bad but sound so much like each other that they fail to make an impact. Cyssero's music sounds like the kind you find at the back end of a mixtape, but instead of just being forced to endure 2-3 tracks of it you get flooded with 36 tracks of it on "Philly's Bad Guy."

The first disk features Cyssero mostly by himself or with an occasional big name feature. The second disk is packed with appearances from previously unheard of rappers which I assume are part of Cyssero's crew. The first disk really has nothing of substance or that really stands out. The "Intro" track stands out a bit just because you get to hear Cyssero's story in his own words. "Breathe Easy" is a shit-talking track with corny punch lines where Cyssero compares the way his gun eats through dude's clothes with moths. "Smell Like That" is the only track featuring The Game which is a bit odd considering he's the only reason anybody would peep this CD. The track itself is another played out G-Unit diss with nothing new or noteworthy. The rest of the disk is filled with similar tracks that sound like every other track up-and-coming gangsta rappers release. "Gangsta" finds Cyssero trying to put together a club/hood anthem with a hook that sounds eerily similar to more than a few of Fabolous' best tracks. Kurupt shows up to support Philly on "Game Over" but the concept of jacking the tune from a sports show is one that is played out and has never led to much success. The second disk is predictably worse since Cyssero lets his weaker labelmates handle most of the rapping with mediocre results. The Dream Team handles the production on both disks and show that they are very talented in coming up with tracks that mimic everything that's been popular in the last few years but are woefully inept in producing anything original.

Overall, Cyssero is unimpressive. Maybe much of it has to do with the fact that he's relatively young and new to the game. After all, the jump from spitting a few hot bars and making a hot song is a difficult one that many rappers fail to make altogether. Also, with a whopping 36 tracks on his first release he has a big task in trying to keep the listener entertained over such a long period of time. So I'll leave open the possibility that Cyssero may improve in the future and evolve into a decent rapper, but for now I'd pass on the Philly youngster. There's much better raw talent out there and definitely much better refined talent to spend your cash on.

Music Vibes: 3.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 3.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 3.5 of 10

Originally posted: June 27, 2006