It would be a gross exaggeration to say Pastor Troy is a great lyricist. In fact in the span of four albums covered by RapReviews.com he's swung from 1.5 out of 10 for lyrics on "By Any Means Necessary" to a record high of FIVE on "Stay Tru." If anything Troy has benefitted from a recent slate of shitty Southern lyricists like Shawty Lo and Dem Franchize Boyz; rappers so unbelievably awful that Pastor Troy seems like a gifted writer by comparison. Don't be fooled though - Troy's appeal is 55% charisma, 35% vocal tone and about 10% writtens. Despite being reviled as an rapper Pastor Troy has a decade long career with at least a dozen records under his belt, proving that his formula works for the audience he intends to reach. You can hate the rap, but you can't hate his hustle.
With these things in mind I'm ready to give Pastor Troy another chance on "Attitude Adjuster." Right away the song "Street Law" catches my attention with a hard rocking hip-hop backdrop and Troy's gruff delivery. Even though at times his rhymes are borderline to being simplistic I have to give him points on three fronts on this track: 1) writing more than three words per bar, 2) speaking strictly on what he knows and 3) delivering his words with straightforward sincerity.
"Laws and rules are meant to be broken
That's why I get high and keep smokin
Cause I'm livin by the street law, holdin my nuts
I'm livin by the street law, don't give a fuck
I'm makin big bucks in trucks with no L's
And if I catch a charge, I'll make bail!
Because I'm livin by the street law, fuck them crackers!
I'm livin by the street law, it's yo' Pastor"
There are only two producers of record on "Attitude Adjuster" so when you're listening to these cuts it's either done by Vince V. or the team of Big Hollis & Preach. Troy seems to have handpicked them to match his sound or vice versa. His chords produce a raspy higher-pitched sound than many of his contemporaries, pushing him closer to Cee-Lo than Big Gipp; as such needs music with as much attitude as found in his rhymes. Vince V. holds him down nicely in this department on his share of the work. "My Box Chevy" marries wailing guitars to a thumping drumline as Troy sings an ode to his customized vehicle. Needless to say when you have a vehicle this fly you're going to drive it at least "15 Blocks," but if anybody hater tries to jack the Pastor will "Put Him on the Scope." Preach & Hollis open Troy up to embrace finely crafted beats that go down smooth yet still pack a hard liver punch. "Down to Ride" offers a piano backdrop with an echoing melody that's part "Halloween" and part Lil Jon (both parts working effectively). Troy even gets a chance to put the street life down for a minute on "Do You Wanna Dance?"
"Hello, what's yo' name? Girl you off the chain
In love wit'cho slang - where you from (where you from)
Do I got a sweet, it's right up the street
You look so unique, you should come (you should come)
P.T. is the name, and pimp-in's the game
If you want to hang, hit me up (hit me up)
I love spendin change, I'm deep in this game
Outside is the Range, that's whassup (that's whassup)"
If anybody's attitude has been "adjusted" on this new release it's that of this writer. Having previously been unimpressed by Troy's work I can now in all honesty with no bullshit say he's really not that bad of a rapper. Now DON'T GET IT TWISTED, he's far from being an elite lyrical craftsman. If you're looking for a message in his music, start looking elsewhere. Troy is a man of his vices and unapologetic about them, and if you can think of a cliche about gangster rap it's embodied within most of this album's 14 songs. If one is being fair though Troy makes no apologies about who he is or what kind of music he makes, nor should he. After some of the recent albums I've reviewed in the last 12 months I'll take "simple but effective" over "simple, stupid and pointless" any day of the week. As long as Troy has beats like these and his raps maintain the bare minimum of competency found on "Attitude Adjuster" he's bound to not only appeal to his core audience but convert a few people outside of it in the process.
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6.5 of 10
Originally posted: March 11, 2008