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Ron Artest, ‘My World’ (Tru Warier/Lightyear)

Rugged NBA star Artest was raised in Queensbridge, the same New York housing project that produced Nas and Mobb Deep, so perhaps he feels it’s his birthright to MC. Sadly, his beats come straight from the Fisher-Price My First Rap Album Playset, with generic New York hardcore (“Nasty North”), by-the-numbers crunk (“Working the Pole”), and so on. But surprisingly, Artest has a smooth, competent flow and doesn’t embarrass himself lyrically. As it turns out, his rap game is a lot like his hoop game — not flashy, but fundamentally sound.

Now Hear This: Ron Artest – “Fever” DOWNLOAD MP3

>> Listen to Ron Artest on Napster