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On the Brink 

CD Review: Ty Bru

The Deal: Asheboro-based MC Ty Bru, who regularly performs around the Queen City, releases his album and takes his place among artists in North Carolina's burgeoning hip-hop scene in hopes of showing "the way hip-hop should be."

The Good: Ty Bru wins over fans with a passionate flow. When he's on the mic it's like "Yo! He really feels this." Lots of clever wordplay on beats that don't sound indie or local, but polished and mastered. For an indie artist, this album has a lot of diverse tracks including "N.C. About To Blow," in which he says "Without Q.C. hip-hop would be lost" then follows it with the line "the only club you ever rocked was Sam's." "Spirit" is a track that has an old-school vibe. "Other Side Remix," "Saaayinn" and "So Glad" let you know that Ty Bru has definitely bumped a couple Little Brother tracks in his lifetime. "Full Bloom" is a ballad in the mold of LL's "I Need Love," but a lot more masculine and realistic. "Block Party" makes you think that down the road Ty Bru might go Kid Rock, mixing rap, rock and country influences.

The Bad: Overkill on the movie quotes and skits at the beginning and end of tracks. Some of the hottest songs are really short. I'm all for cutting verses that don't add to the song, but you gotta dig deep for tracks like that. "You Ain't The King of the Cack" is one I wanted more from.

The Verdict: Maybe N.C. is on the brink of hip-hop success, and if that is the case, I'm sure there'll be a spot for Ty Bru in the conversation. It's for fans of soulful samples, beats that take you back and lyrics that are conscious without being political. True hip-hop, definitely.

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