On The Rack
Cassie Cassie [Next Selection/Bad Boy]
Pop-R&B package Cassie isn't about to make Mariah quiver. Still, the young seductress uses her breathy, way-below-average pitch to exude convincing sexiness. Backed by producer Ryan Leslie's slick R&Bounce, the bad girl's (she sounds as if she'd be a pro at phone sex) debut is best suited for dancefloor grinding and closed-door sessions.
DJ Kay Slay & DJ Greg Street The Championsâ€”North Meets South [Deja 34/Koch]
Guess you can have too much of a good thing. The Harlem-Atlanta turntable connection ODs on cross-regional posse cuts (Cam'Ron and Lloyd Banks, Juvenile and Yung Joc). In small doses, these ego-boosts work. Over 18 tracks and nearly 40 MCs, though, one-sided trash-talking exasperates.
Sleepy Brown Mr. Brown [Purple Ribbon/Virgin]
Save those pin-up crooners for your little sis. On his long-delayed debut, Sleepy Brown gives R&B a shot of sophistication. Most impressive, he turns both water and Caddys into matureâ€”not hokeyâ€”aphrodisiacs. Cork the pinot.
Bone Thugs 'N' Harmony self-titled [Koch]
Hopefully Swizzy has directions, 'cause Bone is lost. ClichÃ©s run rampant, turning already generic topics (namely females) into snooze-music lazier than Krayzie and Wish's third party. Next time, Bone, get Bizzy.