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B.G. a/k/a B.Gizzle
THE HEART OF THA STREETZ, VOL. 1
(Koch)
Stars graphics

"I’m young, but believe: I been ’bout mine." From another rapper, it might be bullshit. From B.G., it’s irrefutable, committed to paper and wax. Since the age of 11, the artist formerly known as Baby Gangsta has been spitting — rather, slurring — classics. But it all went, ah, south when he split with Cash Money in 2001, and the 24-year-old we hear on Heart of tha Streetz is more grizzled and jaded for the experience. Never mind the voice (he’s had that menthol drawl for a while), it’s the words that are telling. Over are the days of poppin’ Cris’ — it’s "straight Seagram’s gin in the cup," and throughout, Gizzle’s getting drunk at the altar while renewing his vows to the streets. In fact, one of the few slips here is the out-of-place bounce track "Work dat Ass." But the shivering "Where Da At" is prime Gizzle, and it demonstrates why Heart works as an album. Over a cheap minimal beat, B.G. barely chokes out his truths, telling us subliminally what we already know: there’s no Mannie Fresh production here, no hot-shot guests, just a grown-ass man talking what he knows.

BY CHRIS NELSON


Issue Date: June 10 - 16, 2005
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