willy-1_phixrWhen you’re aligned with one of the biggest artists in the music industry, it’s always a good idea to make a solid impression when it’s your turn up to bat—and that’s the primary focus of Arizona native Willy Northpole [Click for interview], as he steps into the box.

The newcomer and affiliate of Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace outfit makes his debut with Tha Connect, in hopes of making a name for himself away from the rapper-turned-actor.

Where most artists would use their big name connections to their advantage, Willy Northpole does the exact opposite, as Ludacris is not featured on the album.

Instead, he opts to keep the guest appearances down to a minimum with only B.o.B., Ne-Yo, and former DTP member Bobby Valentino making the cut.

After he raps his introduction to listeners, he asserts his street resume with ‘Hood Sh*t.

From there, he gives you a tale of how things came to be by talking about his road to recognition, including the chance he had with G-Unit in ‘The Story. Utilizing his slow flow, on an even slower beat, Willy Northpole reminisces about the past with lines like:

“I gotta call from Fif/we talked for an hour/he was real as sh*t/we flew to his house, and I stayed for a while/but there were n*ggas in his house, that were kind of foul/everybody wanted to rap, so the hate was out/they told Fif I was sellin’ drugs at his house/I was like, “What the f*ck?!” won’t put ya name on the song/but dude was the homie, and he knew he was wrong.”

He then goes into ‘Body Marked Up, which is an illustrious ode to his body art, mixed in with him representing the Valley Of The Sun. B.o.B. makes his presence  felt on ‘Hood Dreamer,but he’s restricted to hook duties, as Willy Northpole goes the song alone.

He then dedicates a song to all the mistresses of the world with ‘#1 Side Chick’ featuring Bobby Valentino. Explaining his dilemma, to which every man with a girl on the side can relate, he discusses his situation on having more than one female to deal with:

“She used to get jealous, and try to be demandin’/I didn’t want a family, and now she understand me/she used to wanna fight me/she wanted to be wifey/she tried to leave me for that lame, but he wasn’t like me.”

After smoothing out his women problems, he then gives people a taste of Sin City with ‘Vegas Lights,’ as he runs through his escapades in the desert.

He further connects the dots with ‘The Life’ featuring “hook-man-for-hire” Ne-Yo, ‘Religion’ and tribute for all of those who are no longer with us in ‘Heaven.

When you have somebody in your corner like Ludacris, and you choose not to use him, that can only indicate that you’re trying to stand on your own two feet right from the start.

Where most artists would load up their freshman album with a slew of guest spots, Willy Northpole commands full control of the project from the beginning to end—and hopefully, having that kind of hunger and initiative will carryon through his future projects as well…

Rating: 3.0

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