Ultimately, “Watch the Chrome” is a sample of what made Obie such a standout on Shady Records.
It appears as though Obie Trice is finally on the verge of releasing his third solo album, Bottoms Up, after a staggering six years since his last project, Second Round’s on Me. With Watch the Chrome, “Mr. Real Name, No Gimmicks” aims to reenter the public consciousness and prove that there is, indeed, life after Shady.
As the mixtape’s title suggests, Watch the Chrome finds Obie rapping over several beats from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne. After hearing “Hood is Wild” and “Whatch You Need,” it’s a bit surprising to hear O start off with so much drug talk, as he largely moved on from that subject after his 2003 debut, Cheers. Still, the Detroit native ambles capably over the production from “No Church in the Wild” and “Gotta Have It,” reaffirming his underrated technical abilities.
It’s not all street talk, though. Just as The Throne used “New Day” as an opportunity to get introspective, so does Obie. Addressing his mother, who recently passed from breast cancer, “New Day” is an instant reminder that Obie’s range extends far past guns and triple beams. “Ma, I dedicate this to you, so let the music play / And pray to God you forgave me like a new day / It’s hard for me to even try to spew this way / Them last days in a coma induced you layin’ / Put my hand on my girl, come up with the words you deserve / …I know that you heard me / The same breast that nourished me / Got my whole earth beneath the dirt now.”
In what proves to be a bit of thoughtful song ordering, Trice goes from mournful to triumphant on “Anymore,” as he promises to persevere through all of his trials, and announces that he’s still committed to his former mentor, Eminem. “Big Proof Back” will bring a smile to any Detroit Hip Hop fan, as Obie reps for his fallen comrade (though curiously utters the line “a nigga stranded on Shady” numerous times, sending a mixed signal about his former employer(s)).
Obie lives up to his Rock City heritage, as an electric guitar loop and organs on “Making Dough” brings to mind “Wanna Know” from Second Round’s On Me. Detox leak “Popped Off” and Ace Hood’s “Hustle Hard” are among the backdrops that remain on the rest of the project. Though Obie doesn’t quite make it work on “Hustle Detroit,” he flows surprisingly well on Waka Flocka Flame’s “No Hands,” continuing to prove his ability to dish out a bevy of styles.
Ultimately, Watch the Chrome is a sample of what made Obie such a standout on Shady Records. Though he’s clearly left his best rhymes and production for his album (something that doesn’t happen often enough these days), there’s more than enough here to keep fans sated until the Well-Known Asshole finally puts out his long-awaited third LP.
DX Consensus: “EP-Worthy”
Listen to Obie Trice – Watch the Chrome