To say that this album was a long time coming would be an understatement. Glasses Malone’s debut album, Beach Cruiser, was originally scheduled to come out in 2006; however numerous setbacks and label changes kept the album from seeing the day of light; until now. Finding a home at Suburban Noize Records, Malone has finally released the album to masses, who are anxious to see how it would turn out. So, was it worth the wait? Well, that’s going to depend what you’re looking for.
Those looking for a traditional West Coast banger will find plenty to like on the album. Beach Cruiser has an old school feel to it; the kind of music you could imagine blaring out of the speakers of your car as you cruise down the boulevard. The album is filled with heavy, base pumping tracks that are sure to punish your speakers, and often have that funky feel to them that the West Coast manages to pull off so well. The album also features an impressive list of guest appearances, from Snoop Dogg and Akon to Rick Ross and Birdman.
Fans expecting an old school West Coast album will be pleased, however those looking for anything more may be a bit disappointed. The main problem with the album is that it never really tries anything innovative or special, and fails to really stand out from the crowd. While many Hip-hop artists seem to be trying to get away from that old rapper cliche of only rapping about drugs, money and guns, Malone seems to embrace it.
In Eastsidin, Malone raps alongside Snoop Dogg and Nipsey Hussle about his affiliations with the Crips when he was younger. The track Dope sees Malone rapping about the drug life; whereas Off Safety, featuring Latoiya Williams and Mack 10, revolves around guns and the danger of the streets. The topic of money also features prominently in Rich N Thuggin and Get Doe. However, while the topics may have been done to death before, Malone is probably as qualified as any to touch on them. The things that he raps about are largely based on his own harsh life experiences, and Malone proves to be a decent storyteller.
There are a couple standout tracks on the album, in particular the album’s first single, Certified, as well as the utterly infectious I Get Doe. The former track, despite being released over three years ago, still holds up very well today. Akon once again proves that he can mesh with any artist, providing a catchy chorus, and the track manages to find that perfect balance between mainstream sound and street rap. The later track, I Get Doe, combines the raw lyrics and vocals of Malone with the stylings of The Cataracs, who produce and feature on the chorus of the up-beat track.
However, not all the tracks hold up so well though. Off Safety, Feel Good Muzik and Call Me T.I., which sounds more like a Waka Flocka song rather than one of his own, don’t do much for me, and became regular skips after the first few listens.
Beach Cruiser is far from perfect and the content of the album is a bit repetitive and shallow, but in the end it really comes down to what kind of album you want to listen to. There’s no doubt that Malone manages to capture that old school West Coast vibe and fans who are looking for that kind of album will really dig Malone’s debut effort. Malone proves to be a decent storyteller and his raw vocals and lyrics will appeal to fans of fellow West Coasters, Game and Jay Rock. Malone has shown enough to ensure that he will be around for a while, however next time it would be nice to see the rapper stretch the boundaries a bit more and really let his individuality shine.
Standout Tracks: "I Get Doe", "Certified", "Eastsidin"
1. G Bo (intro)
3. Eastsidin (ft. Snoop Dogg & Nipsey Hussle)
4. Certified (ft. Akon)
6. Off Safety (ft. Latoya Williams & Mack 10)
7. Hold On (Rare Breed) (ft. T. Lopez)
8. I Get Doe (ft. The Cataracs)
9. Rich N Thuggin (ft. Ya Boy)
10. Car Wash
11. Call Me T.I.
12. Til Da Sun Come Up (ft. T. Pain, Rick Ross & Birdman)
13. No Sympathy (ft. Jay Rock)
14. Club Heaven
15. Feel Good Muzik (ft. Latoiya Williams)
- By Marcus Hannah