Picks and Pans Review: Split Personality

updated 03/29/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/29/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

Cassidy

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Philadelphia rapper Cassidy (real name: Barry Reese) indeed reveals a Split Personality on his freshman CD. On one hand he's the fun-loving, girl-chasing party boy; on the other he's the hardcore, street-living thug. The 21-year-old emcee is more convincing as the former on this mixed effort, which is highlighted by the Top 10 single "Hotel," a frisky invitation for hip-hop groupies to join the after-party. It features a soulful guest vocal by R. Kelly (who shamelessly continues to wear his libido on his sleeve). With its Latin guitar and reggae-ish groove, however, the track sounds more like an R. Kelly song than a Cassidy one. Another collaboration, the naughty "Make U Scream," features a guest rap by Snoop Dogg, whose distinctive drawl underlines Cassidy's failure to fully develop his own style. Throughout the disc, Cassidy gives props to the City of Brotherly Love. "We got to Will Smith this thing," he says in one interlude, referring to a fellow Philly homeboy who knows a thing or two about party rap. Cassidy can only hope he improves enough to end up in Smith's league.

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