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This is the second solo album from the producer (and now rapper) Swizz Beatz. he did release an album previous to this, but is input to the LP was just production, this is both sides to what he is able to do. The name implies this too, "One Man Band", as he is doing just about everything to make this work. He doesn't go completley on his own though, some production is done by Nottz and Needlz, amongst others, also Lil' Wayne, Drag-On and R. Kelly all give back to the numerous things he's helped them out with by collaborating with him.
In the United States, this manged to get as high as number seven in the Billboard Album Charts, so it was fairly successful for a producer who isn't known outside of the Hip Hop, rap and R&B community.
1. "Product Man"
Here is an extrmely poor start to the album as Swizz comes with a terrible track to begin what will probably be the first that many will have heard from him on a full-length release; a poor beginning. He does a track where he really knows what he's on about as he raps all about production, his thing, but is unable to make it relavant to the general listener who won't care for much of this.
2. "It's Me B*****s"
This is the first of a few tracks which went on to be singles from this album, however I felt that it was rather overrated as it has Swizz rapping rhyes whihc seem to fit rather closely to what you hear in other rap tracks around this time, adn it seems as though he's just lifted all themes themes and inseted them into his, no matter how relavent they may or may not be to the genreal subject.
3. "Big Munny"
I must admit that I fell for the beats by Nottz, as he has a way of winning you over with his beats, however I soon lost interst in them as they were polluted with heavy repetition rom Swizzy as he uses the line of the chorus through this one to escape having to make up new lines, he raps about hwo he spends the copious amounts of money which he earns, and depsite the fact that he gets in so much, he isn't able to find anthing original to rap about with this as inspiration.
4. "Bust Ya Gunz" (feat. Drag-On)
Neddlz got things going as he gave Swizzy the perfect East Coast Hip Hop beat. However I thought as though it was wasted on such a poor lyricist in Swizz Beatz as he struggels his way along it with a load of weak rhymes, and at times just repeatign the same line just to skip over bars, and not have to worry about thinking something new up. He name drops throughout this and stick in lines by Biggie and T.I..
5. "You Know Your Boy Did That"
Snags comes with an incredible Electronic beat for this one which shows his talent as a beat-maker, however Swizz offers absolutely nothing as he jacks melodies from many differnt sources in oder to form the basis of the rhymes which he performs in this one. It just makes it more apparent that he lacks origianlity for this aspect of his music, as you are unable to fault his preodcution.
6. "The Funeral"
I have to say that I really didn't have a clue what Swizz was on about during this track at all, it was just a load of rubbish, and didn't really link together at all. He attmepts to depress you with an emotive suject, but is unable to do so as he isn't able to keep up the feelings whihc suit this for a length of time whihc is substantial enough for you to engage with the lyrics.
7. "Take a Picture"
I was annoyed by what Swizz did here as he used a well known sample, Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" (which Twista used for "Sunshine" more recently) to get his way through this one. Without it, he would have crumbled as the rhymes and delivery completely contrast from the smooth sample, showing that he has no awareness of what actually works, and the importance of matching vocals with beats. He gets through it by referencing classic albums too, which is rather amateurish and shows his lack of material or lyrical skill.
8. "Top Down"
Here was the final single off the album and it has Swizz perform a track which appear to flow a lot more effectively than elsewhere within the record. Although I can say that he managed to acomplish this, he still suffered from the same weaknesses which are come through as he repeats lines and uses soudn effects to waste bars.
9. "Money in the Bank"
Here is the second single from the album, and it is a club banger from Swizz as he comes out in a big way. Initially these were my thoughts, as I thought that he did the beats for it, but when I found that it was done by a differnet production team, I didn't really respect Swizz himself for this one, despite the fact I actually like the track.
10. "Part of the Plan" (feat. Chris Martin)
Thsi is one of the few tracks on this release which has Swizz do oth the beat and the raps, and you get him utilise a Coldplay sample. Thsi is certainly unexpected, however I woudln't say that it was partiicularly effective either because the subject of his raps contrasted from the emotions which come from Chris Martin and "X&Y".
11. "Snoop Skit" (Skit)
12. "It's Me B*****s (Remix)" (feat. Lil' Wayne, R. Kelly, and Jadakiss)
Thsi is a remix to the lead single from the album and it simply has it Swizz recruit some leading R&B and Hip Hop talent to do a few liens on his beat, which has been slightly modified. Thsi was a slight improvemnt upon the original as Weezy kills his verse, but R Kelly decides to half-rap, half-sing his, making for a strange tune overall.
I can't believe that noone just went out nd told this guy that he can't rap, but then again he probably wouldn't be making beats for them again if they did. However I thought that it was so clear that he, himself should recognise the fact that he is lacking in material and origianlty with his rhymes. I would have thought more highly of Swizz if he did all the beats in the album, as well as the rapping, but this wasn't the case. He is going to release another album later on in the year, and judging by the couple of singles which have immerged, the same will come of that one too.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Product Man
2 It's Me Bitches
3 Big Munny
4 Bust Ya Gunz - Swizz Beatz & Drag On
5 You Know Your Baby Boy Did That
7 Take A Picture
8 Top Down
9 Money In The Bank
10 Part Of The Plan
12 It's Me - Swizz Beatz & R Kelly/Lil' Wayne/Jadakiss