Dirt Nasty is the rapping alter-ego of actor and all-around-man-about-town Simon Rex. He made his debut in 2008 with his self titled album, a loose knit collection of songs that found him rapping about sex, celebrity, and the mean streets of Hollywood. His persona was that of a washed up actor using hip-hop as his last chance to get famous, humorously channeling artists like Kool Keith and Too Short with his off the wall rhyme style.
With his second album, Nasty As I Wanna Be, he looks to be a bit more serious about blowing up, enlisting an all star cast of collaborators to help him flesh out the album. He starts things off perfectly with the Alchemist produced title track, finding him in his element, rhyming dirty over slow rolling 808 bass. “Boombox” follows, another throwback banger that finds him playing Radio Raheem, waxing poetically about the stereo on his shoulder. He executes another great track with “Milk, Milk Lemonade”, a sort of electro-pop track that finds him, Too $hort, Warren G cold gettin’ disgusting with the filthy food metaphors. This leads right into the seedy “Motel Room”, as he flawlessly executes his sex style.
But on the second half of the album, things begin to go awry, as he attempts to grab the pop audience. Ironically, “So L.A.” – which blasts the twenty-two year old party girls of the scene – panders directly to them. “Turn It Up” fails miserably, while “Lookin’ For A Nasty Girl” (already) interpolates a hook from Lady Gaga’s “Love Game”. Meanwhile, the cheesy “Miami Nights” (feat. Ke$ha) just crosses too far over.
However, the LMFAO produced “I Can’t Dance” hits the nail on the head, forming a new genre of music in the process (Jewish House). While this collaboration will knock in the clubs and help carry the album throughout the year, we only wish there were a few more tracks like this on the album. Still, when he slides back into his groove on songs like “Fuck Me I’m Famous” and “Canal Street”, we gets shades of the old Dirt Nasty we all know and love.
Simon Rex’s quest for identity continues on Nasty As I Wanna Be. He does successfully create a few excellent cuts throughout the album, and does attempt to shake the one dimensional stigma he’s been branded with in the past. Only problem is these attempts at going pop sometimes fall flat, when ultimately, Nasty is what he wants to be.
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