Like most of the hip-hop world, I wasn’t introduced to 38 Special until a few minutes ago when he appeared with Young Chris on Invasion Radio. Not only were his bars as ridiculous as the prices that movie theaters charge for their Snickers but you can argue that he stole the show from Young Chris. Before he made that appearance the only .38 Special I knew of was the one in my older brother’s drawer. But that’s neither here nor there. So here we are and 38 is stating his case that he just may be thee realest rapper in the game.

I mean when dude goes into story mode and paints the kind of picture he did on “Do The Math” about putting the love on one of his workers who shorted him on some work, you can tell this man’s been through everything he’s talking about. And it’s pretty hard not to believe this man when he says, “A shotty blast’ll put ya nigga in a body bag/or a body cast/if you see him you’ll probably gag/know how many whips I done crashed? It’s nothing! Fuck it!I break bricks like karate class… I left a lot of niggas messed up/f’d up/flesh cut/guess what? I don’t regret much” on “Never Have To Run.” I believe very few rappers in this game, and 38 just made that list. He’s up there with Beans, Styles and Shaquille O’Neal (He ain’t lie when he said, “Everything’s going well, following my dreams/I dunked on Patrick Ewing/I won the ring like Hakeem.” That’s realer than 95% of what every rapper is saying nowadays).

As much as I like listening to this man go hard on these beats, I’d be lying if I said his content didn’t leave much to be desired. Special got a dope style, witty metaphors and his flow is respectable, but aside from talking about the thug life and drug life, there wasn’t much substance to his music. There were a few joints like “Do The Math” and “Keep Pushin” where he speaks on men and women in the struggle, but I mean dude basically said it all on “Dump. Dump. Reload” when he rhymed, “Money, cars and clothes/that’s all I know/I ain’t worried ‘bout no hoes/I grind and get this dough.” For that majority of the mixtape that seemed to be the case.

No matter how much I love dudes who spit hard like Beanie Sigel and Styles P, their music is much deeper than just rap. They drop jewels in their rhymes along with dropping shells and bodies. This dude 38 Special has all the right tools and I’m feeling the style, but he’s not quite there yet. But with joints like “In Love With You” where he personifies his love affair with perico or “Bottom Bitch” where he compares and contrasts how he treats his wifey and his jumpoff , homie shows promise that sooner or later he’s bound to get on the right tracks and leave a ton of skid marks on these streets.-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “Never Have To Run”

Weakest Joint: “Dump. Dump. Reload”