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The Bay Area’s HBK Gang has been slowly infiltrating the club scene, led by IamSu’s multiple appearances on hits like E-40′s “Function” and Jonn Hart’s “Who Booty”. But most recently, HBK made a name for themselves through Sage The Gemini’s twin hits “Gas Pedal” and “Red Nose”. This pair of mellow, grooving hits defied the rah-rah of 100 BPM hits of the past like Lil Jon’s “Get Low” or DMX’s “Party Up”, for a more chilled out, grinding sound, seeing runaway success in the process. With his debut, Remember Me, the time comes to see if Sage is in it for the long haul, or if he’s just a two-hit wonder.

Truth be told, Remember Me sets The Gemini up pretty well for being the new face of the Bay Area. For what it lacks in substance, the album is loaded with potential hits, meeting somewhere at the crossroads of LA’s ratchet sound and the post-Hyphy movement of his own backyard. Songs like the title cut “Remember Me” and “Nothing To Me” don’t betray his city’s foundations, while both “Bad Girls” and “Don’t You” are late night, heavy beats for Sage to spit his game, talk his shit.

As far as the future hits, there’s a handful of tracks here that will be local classics and others that will catch the same fire as “Red Nose” and “Gas Pedal”. The melodic “Go Somewhere” is just itching for radio play, as Sage and Iamsu weave a sort of “Excuse Me Miss” / “Around The Way Girl” type of narrative, sure to strike a chord with the ladies, without pouring on the heavy R&B collabos. The already buzzing “College Drop” is the album’s most aggressive track, but Sage keeps his cool throughout, creating a good juxtaposition.

The regular album clocks in at 12 tracks, weaving a pretty tight tracklist, however the deluxe edition is weighed down with some overdone radio jams. The cheesy “Second Hand Smoke” closes the album out on a sour note, and the deluxe edition takes it even further with “Just A Kiss” and “Desert Of Mirages”, both of which are drowned out in the thickest of R&B syrup, and could have been left on the studio floor. “Give It Up” is the only redeeming factor among the bonus tracks, as a harder edged Bay banger.

Light on substance, but heavy on production and catchy melodies, Remember Me is not without its faults. While Sage is an obvious hit machine, and the album still has a few up its sleeve, it truly remains to be seen if Sage will indeed stick in our memories years down the line.

  Mixtape D.L.
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