Big Treal & DJ Wiz :: The Fam Ain't Eatin' Cheddar Biscuits :: Policy Entertainment Group
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

What could cheddar biscuits, those delicious, warm treats they serve you before a meal at Red Lobster, have to do with rap? Well if you watch the highly disappointing and over-hyped animated version of The Boondocks comic strip then chances are you know. In one of the episodes, Aaron McGruder is trying to make some point of some sort about race relations through Grandpa's relationship with a white prostitute/ stripper. He takes her out to Red Lobster where she goes crazy over the cheddar biscuits, being her first time eating them. When Grandpa gets back home his grandchild Riley is upset because the "fam ain't eatin' cheddar biscuits" while Grandpa's golddigger is. So as you can see the reference to cheddar biscuits on Big Treal's mixtape isn't completely random. But in all honesty, even if you know where the title comes from, it does little to explain why it's relevant here.

"You ain't from the streets, I'm from the streets and only someone who wasn't [from the streets] would do something to glorify it"

This quote from some movie I don't remember shows up halfway through the mixtape. It's quite a contradiction that someone named Big Treal who spends more than half his time trying to tell everyone how trill he is somehow thinks that quote doesn't apply to him. But thus is the way the rap game is full of contradictions at every turn. That quote is at the tail end of a skit called "Middle Class Gangsta Skit" where Big Treal makes fun of those fake gangstas in the rap game. Of course it's followed by a track where Treal declares he's from the hood and he's a real gangsta but he doesn't want to do the things he does, etc. If Treal kept up the same vibe throughout the mixtape then the song would come off as much more sincere. Instead, tracks like "Carolina Boys and Girls," "In The South," and "Lay It Down" all glorify the streets. What part of the game is that? See, by Treal's own logic he's not from the streets since only someone not from the streets would do something to glorify it, right? But by now any rap fan should be used to the contradictions in the game, embodied perfectly by the fact that Pac and Big weren't gangstas who glorified the street life, yet any "real" gangsta in the game will point to them first as the realest rappers in the game.

Thankfully for Big Treal I look past contradictions and don't care all that much about street credentials as long as you can rap. Big Treal can rap, but so can 1,000 other guys and Treal does nothing different from those other guys other than claim he's more real than them. It's a shame too since Big Treal is actually a bit more talented and a lot more charismatic than most independent rappers I have to listen to. Matter fact he's a lot more charismatic than a lot of the commercial rappers nowadays. By that I mean that Big Treal has a tight flow, good rapping voice, and a personality that shines through despite the narrow focus of the mixtape. Part of that originality is exhibited in the inclusion of "Vintage Charlotte Shit!" on the mixtape, an old school local track Big Treal included to show his region had been grinding for more than a minute. The track itself is a dope piece of old school southern flavor and Big Treal gets props for repping his region. Despite Big Treal's charismatic personality and clear love for hip-hop, all his potential is negated by his focus on upholding his namesake.

Being "treal" or "trill" has become an increasingly popular claim in today's rap game. And maybe Big Treal was trying to imply that Grandpa wasn't being treal when he put a golddigger before his family. But that possible connection is as deep as Big Treal gets and even then it's more likely Big Treal just likes The Boondocks and included it because it's a popular show. Fans of the show may be happy to see its inevitable inclusion in the hip-hop culture. Outside of that historical side note, there's really nothing exceptional worth checking out on this mixtape. DJ Wiz cooks up some good beats here and there, but it's nothing amazing. Big Treal and his crew don't do much that hasn't been done before.

Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10

Originally posted: August 15, 2006