There's a core of decent lyrics and solid songwriting on Belly's bloated double CD. But there's also an overwhelming flavour of clichéd, wannabe-50-Cent-izm stretched across this ambitious project. The biggest hater/critic can't overlook relevant lines like "They say, 'Listen, kids, rap's a bad influence' / But we committed less than half the crime politicians did." But this Palestine-born Canadian can't fool everyone with the rest of his studio gangsterism.
A game-tight Beat Merchant, Bacardy, Whosane? and others provide various polished backdrops upon which Belly can throw up his heartfelt hubris. Scarface cashes in 16 bars, and Kurupt freestyles for pay, twice. The R&B spots are typical, and Massari's grating voice hurts, but History Of Violence's intentions are respectable.
Ultimately, this Revolution should not be televised, since it essentially conforms to the system. And did he just say, "This album'll make me Malcolm to these young Arabs"? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.