Playing with Fire
REVIEWED BY CHUCK ARNOLD
RAP

It hits stores on Halloween, but the debut album from Mr. Britney Spears isn't as scary as you might expect. At least there's nothing here as awful as "PopoZão," the cringe-inducing single that Federline previously released but wisely left off of this disc. While emcee K-Fed doesn't exactly embarrass himself, though, most of Playing with Fire is pretty lukewarm. He comes across as Eminem lite on gangsta-wannabe tracks like the Scarface-inspired "The World Is Mine" and "America's Most Hated," one of many songs on which he plays the media victim: "Tabloids try to screw me, magazines try to chew me." Federline gets a little help from the missus on the pop-flavored "Crazy," on which they defend their much-dissected relationship. "Better think twice how you come at me/I'm a godfather now, I'm about my family," he rhymes. Although Federline's lyrics and flow wouldn't have him winning many rap battles, mildly catchy cuts like the rock-tinged single "Lose Control" may actually gain him a little bit of respect.

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DOWNLOAD THIS: "Lose Control"