Album Review: The Otherside Redux by Rockie Fresh

Posted: July 27, 2011 by eptarheels23 in Album Review, Music
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Way back at the beginning of this blog I wrote an Artist On the Rise on Rockie Fresh and I have been quietly, highly anticipating the release of his new project, The Otherside Redux. Well it was just released today and the tape features remixes and remakes of all the tracks off The Otherside, it also contains has all new records. The tape features artists from Lil B to Tayyib Ali to Casey Veggies to Mike Golden and many more. So hit the jump for a track by track review of Rockie Fresh’s The Otherside Redux!

1: A.C. Green 4/5
Named after the NBA player of the same name, A.C. Green was known for his scrappiness and hustle and Rockie Fresh really embodies that aspect of the song and it shows. The beat on this one is very dark and eerie, the almost cinematic background is the perfect sound for Rockie Fresh to drops lines such as, “Think I need an intervention, drunk off these punchlines, serial killing tracks, b***h, I’m the captain of crunch time”. Over a Kanye West sampled hook, this song almost seems to portray Rockie as a younger version of Kanye West. All in all, a good listen

2: The Worth (feat. Mike Golden) 5/5
Over a rock influenced beat, Rockie really shines and shows how good he can really become. He flows really well on his first verse and Mike Golden adds to the overall value of the song. This was actually one of my favorite tracks from The Otherside and I was a little disappointed that Rockie didn’t get anyone else to drop bars on this track. The beat is just so dope it would have take the track to nother level.

3: Sofa King Cole (Redux) 3.5/5
The difference between this track and the original that was featured on The Otherside is that Rockie implemented a live band in the background. That added a more rock feel to the track and while it makes the track a good overall listen, I was more of a fan of the original version of the track. The rock band almost feels like a bad Travis Barker Remix. I would suggest listening to the original over this.

4: Living (Remix) [feat. Casey Veggies & Tayyib Ali] 5/5
A remix of one of my favorites of the first tape gets guest verses from Casey Veggies and Tayyib Ali. The track doesn’t really seem much different from the first as Casey Veggies and Tayyib flow seamlessly into the record. It’s still a great listen as the beat is banging and I love the chorus. It’s really catchy and makes you want to celebrate the little things you have in life. I’m going to have to give the edge to this version over the original. It just seems like all three artists rapped like they had a chip on their shoulder and something to prove.

5: So Gone (Based Remix) [feat. Lil B] 5/5
Possibly my absolute favorite track off The Otherside gets one of my least favorite rappers to drop a verse. I can see why Rockie got Lil B though, he has a die hard fan base and is surprisingly very popular. But I’m just not a fan, he raps off beat and it just doesn’t click in the overall value of the record. Nonetheless, Lil B’s verse is relatively short and he gets it out of the way at the beginning. The rest of the track is a complete banger and will have your head nodding to the beat in no time.

6: We Good 3.5/5
The first of all new tracks from Rockie is a typical Rockie Fresh track. The beat knocks and it has a sing-songy, catchy chorus to go along with dope bars from Rockie. This track doesn’t stand out in many ways, but it does everything good. This is an all around solid track from the Chicago emcee.

7: About It 4/5
Right off the bat, I could tell this track was produced by one of the in-house producers for Taylor Gang, Cardo or Sledgren. This beat could have fit right into Kush & OJ without missing a beat. With that being said, Rockie might not be the best person to have rapped over this beat, but he does his best Wiz Khalifa impersonation. It actually turns out to be a good effort from Rockie as it drops some nice lines and a catchy chorus to go along with the Cardo beat.

8: Go Crazy 4/5
To me this is almost Go Crazy Remix by Young Jeezy with a Taylor Gang twist. Once again it has Cardo behind the boards, along with Sledgren this time. The beat has that definite Taylor Gang feel to it and it’s actually starting to make me think how he would fit into that gang. It would work well for him and let him get a lot more recognition, which he deserves.

9: They Don’t Understand Why (Remix) [feat. Tayyib Ali] 5/5
One of the more underrated tracks off The Otherside gets a verse once again from Tayyib Ali. No complaints here, he’s dope as hell. This track is more of an uptempo banger and Tayyib Ali fits in perfectly into the flow of the track. His verse is crazy and with Rockie dropping bars alongside him it take the track to another level. This is a great remix from the Chicago and Philly representatives.

10: As Far As You Let Me 4.5/5
This song has really grown on me since I first heard it back on The Otherside. I wasn’t a fan of it originally but it has gotten a lot of plays recently. This record has Drake written all over it. It is very similar to some of the smooth, slow paced R&B tracks from So Far Gone such as Lust for Life and Houstalantavegas. If you’re a fan of those type of tracks I would definitely recommend that you check out this record then.

11: Too Far 4.5/5
Another track that was a pass for me from the original tape, but since going back and re-listening to it, it has also grown on me. His flow is pretty dope at the beginning of the track and the chorus is sweet and to the point. The beat is spacey and the guitar riffs throughout the track add to the overall feel. Also the guitar solo that closes out the track is dope too.

12: June 13th 5/5
Very similar to Too Far except it is a level above in my mind. The beats are similar in that they are laid back and spacey and Rockie flows pretty much the same. But the thing that separates them to me is I feel like Rockie seems more mature on this track. He just seems to have figured out what and how to go about things. This is a great track from Mr. Fresh.

13: What’s the Hurry (Interlude)
Just a short interlude into the next track, not much to say about this.

14: What’s the Hurry 5/5
This cut has more of a pop/electronic-ish feel to it, but it still has hip-hop in its roots. Originally on The Otherside this was one of the tracks I didn’t really think about but got plenty of rotations on my iPod. The thing I really like about this track is that the chorus and Rockie’s verses seem completely seperate. The hook duties are handled by Imogen Heap and when she’s singing there is almost no beat, but then when Rockie drops in the beat picks back up and he drops some witty lines.

15: Otherside (feat. Rich Hil) 5/5
If So Far Gone wasn’t my favorite track from the original tape, then this was. The flow from Rockie on this record is ridiculous as he drops insane line after insane line, such as “when they want a hit, I’m battin’/Baton like Rouge” and “I’m about to make it Big, no Pun intended” (props if you understand that last one). Also with a dope hook from Rich Hil thrown on there makes the track that much better. This is an absolute must listen.

16: Time (feat. Mr Hudson) 5/5
Mr. Fresh recruits Mr Hudson (know for his work with Jay-Z and Kanye West) to drop a killer hook, while Rockie tears his verses apart. This track is similar to What’s the Hurry in terms of what the beat is like, almost non-existent on the hook and picks up during the verses. Mr Hudson is the perfect fit in this track, this hook was meant for him to sing. I could also see this cut getting some plays on the radio, Mr. Fresh might have a hit on his hands.

17: Living (Super Remix) [feat. Casey Veggies, Naledge, Phil Ade & Tayyib Ali] 5/5
I am extremely happy that Rockie threw this version on the tape. It features all artists from the remix and the original together on one track and it clocks in at just over eight minutes. While there is nothing new here, this will get the most plays out of all three tracks because it features everyone. I am also having an extremely difficult time trying to figure out who’s verse was the best. At the moment, I’m going to give the dge to Tayyib Ali, but that will probably change the next time I play the track.

18: Otherside Redux (Freestyle) 5/5
This beat straight knocks! This quick little freestyle from Rockie is just about his ability to drop bars. The beat sets the stage nicely for Rockie to demolish with his raps. I really wish he had turned this into a full length track instead of a short freestyle. It deserves more.

19: Duckin ‘n’ Dodgin (feat. Casey Veggies) 5/5
My favorite new, original track (not a remix) from The Otherside Redux is probably this one. The beat bangs with tons of drum kicks and sounds like something produced from Chuck Inglish. Upon listening to this whole tape, I have come to the conclusion that Rockie Fresh and Casey Veggies would form a great duo of a group. They have amazing chemistry on the mic and would be one of the best duos out there today. Well, that was just a suggestion but it would be amazing if they did.

20: A.C. Green (Remix) [feat. Vic Mensa] 4/5
I had never heard of Vic Mensa coming into this tape, so I had no idea what to expect from him. With that being said this track fits his style. I’m not going to rate this track any higher than the original because it seemed like Vic Mensa was a Rockie Fresh impersonator and nothing really changed.

All in all, this was a collection of Rockie’s music along with killer remixes, dope originals and tight new tracks. The new tracks were great addition to the already solid original tape and I’m pretty impressed with the overall value of the project. He has matured since the first tape and this new one shows his growth as an emcee. Even if you already downloaded The Otherside, I would definitely recommend you download The Otherside Redux as Rockie has enough new material to make it worth your while. I think it won’t be long until Rockie is mentioned among the other Chicago rap giants such as Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Common and Twista.

Download: Rockie Fresh – The Otherside Redux

Duckin ‘n’ Dodgin (feat. Casey Veggies)

Living (Super Remix) [feat. Casey Veggies, Tayyib Ali, Naledge & Phil Ade]

Otherside (feat. Rich Hil)

The Worth (feat. Mike Golden)

They Don’t Understand Why (Remix) [feat. Tayyib Ali]

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