Trouble: 431 Days

Duct Tape Entertainment

431 Days, the title of Atlanta rapper Trouble's follow-up to his critically acclaimed December 17 debut, represents the number of days that have passed since his release from federal prison. Which makes it fair to assume that Trouble relishes his freedom. It's a safe assumption, especially on such mixtape standouts as the appropriately titled "Free," "All I'm Worried About," and "Never Understand" featuring Bun B. But it doesn't mean he's above paying lyrical homage to the lifestyle that got him locked down in the first place. To the contrary, Trouble takes pride in wallowing in his pain. He saves little room for pop radio fodder, even when acquiescing to a Verse Simmonds' R&B hook on the down-ass-chick anthem "Would You?" And on the FKi-produced track custom-built for him to ball out ("Hustle & Ambition" featuring Gucci Mane), he conveys his preference for women who value good credit over Gucci shoes. This isn't fantasy rap; it's theme music for soldiers still surviving the nightmare with a heavy heart and a sober outlook. (3 out of 5 stars)

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