[Album]: While You Were Sleeping
Overall Grade/Rating: 8/10
Subject Matter: 9/10
Replay Value: 8/10
Fav Songs: Dreams, The Family (Extended Version), While You Were Sleep, Commitment
Least Fav Songs: We Up
Spin or Skip: Spin
Critique: Undoubtedly, Truthcity’s (@mrtruthcity) sophmore release, While You Were Sleeping, is a more focused yet darker rendition of the rapper’s plight. The more playful approach prevalent throughout many of the tracks on The Prologue has been abandoned. Cascades of wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration still form the basis of the premise on WYWS.
However, the rougher textures can’t be ignored on tracks like “While You Were Sleeping,” with its draculesque production and hard hitting bars. Truth lashes out at some of his peers in a line that’s reminiscent of J. Cole’s gripe about rappers today on “False Prophets.”
Truth states “you not in my league/ all of ya singles is weak/ you always complainin’/ walk around here like you deep/ they not with the fam’ then they don’t me nothin’ to me…” The downside is that too many rappers are subliminal when expressing their disdain towards the competition, and there’s nothing different here in that regard.
“We Up” is a regurgitation of “While you Were Sleeping,” with the constant “we up, we, up, we up…” repeated throughout the hook that after a while sounds like “whip, whip, whip…” it feels like the Terrance Howard pimp dance from Hustle & Flow could accompany the chant. The high energy and message are the only aspects that keep this track from being completely uninteresting.
Vulnerability is a theme that’s everywhere on WYWS. Truth plays the role of his own therapist on “Alone” and revels his trust issues. Truth’s lady friend comes in towards the end of the song and reminds him that he can’t trust everyone. Truth picks up with a very powerful last verse that recounts the many instances when he was betrayed by those he thought he could trust.
On “The Family (Extended Version),” Truth let’s it be known that he’ll never fall victim to that Trojan horse ever again. He takes no chances on friendships and makes it clear that “if you not with the family I don’t remember you.” Truth is so personal on this album that the only thing missing are actual names of individuals involved in the situations he presents. Also on this track Truth shows off his lyrical abilities with his delivery. From 1:31 – 1:47, he barely takes a breath (quite impressive).
Towards the end of the album listeners receive more personal plots with “Commitment,” “Changes II,” “Happiness,” and “Consistency.” All of these are filled with bars about relationships. Kita P’s argument with Truth on “Commitment” about a romance that’s preparing to crumble because both lovers are young and restless in pursuit of their dreams is just this tip of the iceberg.
Getting into “Happiness” Truth let’s his thoughts flow about someone very close to him “been friends since high-school/ you used to pay for my lunches / we had discussions on the s*** I end up becomin’/ I was focused you wasn’t/every dime you ever had it went to stuntin’/ tryna be somebody you wasn’t.”
These statements are personal but yet relatable. Everyone deals with fair weathered friends, family members, and loses. This is part of Truth’s appeal, but can feel a bit too dramatic. WYWS would come off completely as a soap opera if it wasn’t for “Dreams,” “Greatness,” “Get Rich” (which feels like an album filler along with “We Up”), and the aforementioned “While You Were Sleeping.”
“Dreams” spearheads the album as a major highlight. The opener has a “I believe I can Fly” vibe to it and isn’t anything less than an emotion stirrer. When the hook drops, “I wanna live my Dreams, I wanna live my dreams…,” lighters go in the air. Truth’s mom chimes in with words of wisdom and advice on how to stay focused on the road to victory (tears).
As a whole, WYWS showcases Truth’s versatility. There are no blurred lines between this album and his debut. His professionalism as a song writer is evident. It’s clear that Truth is in the ring with himself and not his peers.