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20 January, 2004@12:00 am

    If patience is a virtue, then the Bravehearts might be some of the most virtuous people in the game. They have been down with Nas since the Illmatic days, and now over ten years later, the duo of Jungle and Wiz are delivering their debut “Bravehearted.”

    Set off by the grimy feel of Midi Mafia’s “B Train”, the Bravehearts start blasting from the beginning and don’t let up, letting off one round after another. The King of Crunk, Lil’ Jon, checks in for the first single “Quick To Back Down”, as the ATL meets QB combo is pulled off successfully and is sure to end the tough talking and start the tough actions, no matter where it’s played. “I know your type, I know your type your kind, quick to back down, you be leaving when there’s drama, quick to back down.” “Buss My Gun”, has another long time associate, Nashawn, joining the mix as they deliver the street soldier anthem, over another Midi Mafia heat rock. This song also seems to define the squad, very loyal, dedicated and willing to do whatever for their crew.

    The album is more than gun shots and physical harm though. “Situations” is a discussion of past relationships and hook ups, but far from being soft, even with Nas singing his own version of the Bee Gee’s “Islands in the Stream.” Bastianny’s beat is best described as somewhere in between D’Angelo and the gutter for an end result that is very soulful and dirty. “I Wanna” is the raunchy sexcapade, featuring the female sung hook “baby I wanna fuck, I’ll be your down ass slut, you know I like it rough, you can do it in my butt.” It is guaranteed to have freaky chicks singing along, as L.E.S. crafts a radio friendly beat to captivate their attention.

     There are, however, some down sides to the album. The Swizz Beatz produced “Twilight” sounds like 80′s synth-pop, but is salvaged by the braggadocio swagger of the Bravehearts and Nas. “Cash Flow” is another time when the Bravehearts outshine the beat, another “get money” type song but Lil Jon’s beat sounds very under developed compared to previous efforts. “Realize” features a very compelling and introspective hook from Teedra Moses, “we live like we got nothing left but time, but in the end will you be satisfied,” but somehow all the verses don’t seem to fit in with it. A song that had the potential to uplift and inspire thought does not seem to reach that goal. The verses are still solid, just do not seem as well suited for the chorus as they could have been.

    A lot of crews jump on the one star’s back and try to ride those coat tails to success, depending on the skill of that one person to carry the album. This is not the case with the Bravehearts, while the Nas appearances add to the album, they have obviously put in work and are able to stand on their own. This debut will bang heavy in the hood, but it also contains enough diversity and talent that should them expand their QB empire into other areas as well.

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