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by
3 September, 2003@12:00 am
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    The music business is not for the weak and the tempted—Rasco can vouch for this.  After releasing his critically acclaimed solo debut, Time Waits For No Man, in 1998, Rasco found himself quickly moving up the Indy food chain.  Since, Rasco has not only had to deal with a crash course in “Industry Rule #4080″ (he even dedicates a scathing diss track to a former label owner on “Snakes In The Grass (The Jon Sexton Story)”) but his respective follow-up’s (excluding his alignment with Planet Asia on Cali Agents’ How The West Was One) have left much to be desired and he has really failed to capitalize on the buzz his debut generated.

Now aligned with Coup D’e Tat, Rasco returns with Escape From Alcatraz, which opens with the obvious voice samples detailing the difficulties of pulling a Clint Eastwood off the now closed prison—these sound bytes also just happen to draw parallels with Rasco’s own past label troubles.  While the agitated tone of Escape threatens to transform it into another rendition of Industry Shakedown, Rasco gets grounded on the guitar tinged “U Got The Time”, lets loose on a certain industry acquaintance on “Get Free” and trades verses with Charli 2na (where’s the solo jawn?) on the grimier “Sweet Science”.  

While Rasco displays his mic prowess on the introspective “All I Wanna Be” and “My Life” and hits harder with stand outs such as the aforementioned “Snakes In The Grass (The Jon Sexton Story)” and “Making U Move”.  A slew of under-developed hooks zap the strength of “Real Hot”, “Lets Get Down Tonight” and “Put Your Hands Up.”

Though conceptually engaging, Escape From Alcatraz would have benefited from some quality control and stronger hooks.  Yet, Rasco does accomplish enough to at the very least keep us intrigued for his next endeavor. 

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