Virgo (IndyGround)

Steddy P. 

Virgo
(IndyGround)

There's a kind-of-funny, kind-of-sad scene in the movie Baby Boy, John Singleton's follow-up to Boyz n the Hood. Tyrese Gibson and Omar Gooding, playing two close friends, chase down a group of teenage boys who have robbed Tyrese's character. Gooding and Tyrese line up each of the young boys on a front lawn. While the other boys tremble, one stares directly back at them. "Little homie's got heart," Gooding says, pointing to the bravest of the group, before catapulting him backward with a vicious uppercut. Having heart is valuable, admirable even, but not always redemptive in a life of unpredictable hard knocks. It's a lesson that applies to Virgo, the latest effort from KC rapper Steddy P. No doubt Steddy's got heart. On "That's Life," the third of the album's eight tracks, he refers to his brother's bout with cancer and touches on the dangers of substance abuse and selling out. Life has been hard lately, he tells listeners over a strumming acoustic guitar. The album's production — filled with booming jazz horns, record scratching, snare drums and hi-hats — is refreshingly old-school and a perfect complement to Steddy's authentic ethos. The fact remains, however, that Steddy still hasn't shown the sophisticated rhyme schemes, wordplay and original cadences that could usher him to elite status. Heart, unfortunately, is not always enough.

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