There are many reasons to dig Young Deuces’ third album.

1. The Milwaukee emcee is serious minded: Conscious but not preachy. He can tell a street story without bragging or exploiting.

2. The album is tight. Eleven tracks. All meat, no filler.

3. He plays with the classics but gives them a personal spin: “All I need in this life of sin is just me and my drive to win.” And not just Tupac. The single “Breathe” puts a spin on Fabolous. He drops a reference to Jay-Z’s first great album. On and on.

4. He keeps it underground. Yeah, there’s features. And if you don’t know the Milwaukee scene (I don’t) you probably haven’t heard of most of them (I haven’t). Plus, they’re all GOOD features that stick with the overall content of the song. These are songs. They are crafted. They’re not just an excuse to showboat.

5. It feels real. The lyrics appear to be autobiographical and, taking him at his work, Young Deuces learns from his own experiences. Life is for living–it’s always affirming to see someone growing from experiences. “The past is grimey but we wash it out like dirty dishes.”

Highly recommended.

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