Fleetwood’s eclectic debut ‘holds its own’

Fleetwood, a rap artist from Newberry, and a 21-year-old junior magazine production student, stays true to the streets and the usual recipe for a rap CD with his album “GulfCoast Boss Volume 2: Key to the City.”

The lyrical content is the same on almost every track. Although Fleetwood’s lyrics never quite leave “the hood,” I must commend him for not being overly boastful of cars, money, trapping, women or other material possessions.

“Flow of the Century,” the title track, was a good choice with its chaotic beat that reminds you of Nas’ “You Can Hate Me Now.”

Fleetwood flows quickly with Young Jeezy-like ad-libs, but “The Boss” showcases his slower flow that is reminiscent of Bun-B and Slim Thug.

Fleetwood is a self-proclaimed “originalist,” but on a few tracks like “Standing Ovation,” “That’s my,” “D.P.” and “Southside,” Fleetwood jacks beats from the likes of Young Jeezy, Jay-Z, T.I. and Baby.

On these, Fleetwood not only uses the beat but he also takes the titles and content –with some alterations — but mainly keeps the songs the same.

While the songs are not bad, these familiar beats give the album an unoriginal sound.

When Fleetwood is not rapping over borrowed beats, he does a good job holding his own.

The album consists of chaotic beats that have a lot going on instrumentally, but Fleetwood has a way of keeping up that comes off effortlessly.

“42 Fiya” is an example of the chaotic beat with its orchestra and violin-driven sound.

I was actually surprised that the beats chosen for the album are so eclectic. I was fully expecting an album chock-full of hard-hitting bass driven beats.

However, “Who Wanna,” a song for haters, gave me what I was looking for with its true dirty-south style, strong bass lines and slow beat.

“In My Own” had me bouncing with a mixture of many sounds and a steady bass line that is a staple of dirty south music. Fleetwood switches his flow on the wild beat making this one a winner.

“Always on Time” and “As Time Goes On” just didn’t do anything for me sound-wise.

On “Higher,” the old school beat warrants a story of nostalgia.

The beat doesn’t sound original, but if it has the makings of a classic.

I also liked “Southside,” where Fleetwood reps his loyalty. The song put me in the mindset of Outkast and their “Southernplayalisticcadillacfunkymusic” days.

The other tracks included on the album are “The Mission,” “Don’t Kid Ya’self,” “Dance,” “The Story” and “What Do I Want.”

The album constantly reminds you of another song or artist.

Fleetwood does not lack the talent to become a force, but he may just need to find his niche.

While the album did not blow me away, I was able to listen to the whole thing without immediately wanting to give it a Frisbee toss out the window.

If you like ridin’ music (something you can pop in the CD player on a road trip or when you’re in a laid back mode), “GulfCoast Boss Volume 2: Key to the City” is definitely something you can ride to.

Fleetwood and Tha Outlaw are executive producers of this debut album on their independent label Dynasty Music Entertainment.

The album is already out and can be purchased for $5 online at myspace.com/gulfcoastboss or by contacting Fleetwood at (352) 283-1031.

Grade: B

Contact Chelsie Kindell at famuanlifestyles@hotmail.com