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Juvenile: Cocky & Confident

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Juvenile’s descent has been heartbreaking. From selling 4 million copies of 400 Degreez to falling out with Cash Money, he has gone from the king of New Orleans rap to an artist who barely registers. Part of the problem is his own failure to stay relevant; his last album, Reality Check, failed to comment expansively on Katrina, and his latest, Cocky & Confident, doesn’t delve into his terrible personal tragedy from last year, in which his daughter and her mother were gunned down. Still, Juvenile can always fall back on his unique bark and ability to ride New Orleans-bounce-style beats better than anyone alive. Unfortunately, he too often employs gimmicks that don’t suit him, including an Auto-Tune experiment (“You Can’t Stop Me”) and a track that inexplicably apes Paul Wall’s “Got to Get It” (“Gotta Get It”). Juve’s swag still dwarfs that of most other rappers, however, even on a subpar outing. 3 out of 5 stars.

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