Big Hits of Mid-America, Volume 412

Five new local CDs Range from Spaghetti Westerns to pot paeans

 

Rocky vs. FIC
Midwest True Story
Rock City Productions

"Roll Up" and "Just Imagine," two tracks buried toward the end of the encyclopedic Midwest True Story, would make a great two-sided single of thematic contrasts: a weed anthem backed by the alleged recollections of Fiction's prenatal life. It's all stuff close to the Minneapolis-based rapper's heart, and lungs. "This reefer got me/In a whole 'nother world," he declares in "Roll Up," "Tryin' to make your way through the twists and the twirls/Sometimes I just try/To roll up and kiss the sky." Eschewing mysticism and goofiness alike, his POV is strictly pragmatic: Cannabis brings relief from stress as well as enhanced creativity; therefore, the more, the merrier. Producer Rocky--like Fiction, a veteran of the Pharohs Entertainment crew--shows off his penchant for building beats around loops nipped from less-than-obvious chunks of R&B songs, letting FIC's red-eyed contentions float on a dreamily piano-driven bed of cotton ear candy. From the opening quatrain's "potential/menstrual" one-two, "Just Imagine" offers Fiction's least shopworn moments. But album-length consistency is not the MC's forte. "Last Call"'s celebration of cold-blooded womanizing leeches cred from "Imagine"'s eloquent fetal narrator, to the extent that the maliciously indifferent father pushing for the unborn rapper's cancellation might just as well be, uh, Fiction. Musician, heal thyself. --Rod Smith

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