Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave seems awfully cool and calm these days, or at least he does on his latest album, his self-titled third, Roland Collins (Aug. 12, BSB Records). Following the NY Irving Plaza shooting earlier this year where he was injured and apparently came out blazing with gun drawn, he served his time and now he is supposedly free. In what he has given us here as his return gift, Troy boasts with unrestrained fortitude as he presides over his own self-constructed OG-dom. His presumption of high status is somewhat misplaced and a turnoff considering his age and reckless behavior of late, but there are a few decent takeaways to pull from Roland Collins.
First, although the rhymes and production overall are basic and not very impressive at all, Troy’s delivery is unwavering and even a little laudable. The fact remains though that Troy’s subjects are subject to scrutiny. He dives into the usual sex, dislike for an ex, stories of woe from the street, etcetera, all from his made-up standpoint as some wise agent from the hood. At one point, he even encourages his adversaries to “pick up a book.” Besides that, there is really no great enlightenment or edification happening here. Troy Ave has constructed the standard after-prison album set, nothing more, nothing less.
2 out of 5 stars