Mixtape Review-Crown Royal 4 by Pastor Troy
Pastor Troy has always been my answer. When pasty New Englanders told me that Southern Rap was soft I would just ask if they’d ever heard him. They never had. Once you’ve heard Pastor Troy your perspective is changed. Crown Royal 4 is a sprawling example of all the traits that have made his career so important to rap.
A lot of credit should go to DJ T. Lewis & DJ Prez for giving us the sound that defines this project. On Crown Royal 2 I felt like the production wasn’t keeping Troy at his peak roar (where we all want him) but 4 flexes muscle. It certainly has problems; namely the twenty three track length and the oddly inconsistent sound mixing (Digital Lover is a song that sounds like its taking place in the next car over). The body of it is what I’d call spiritual crunk with Pastor at the pulpit. Plenty of examples can be found but on I Know you can hear all the rattling fragments of the beat shimmying together while our narrator howls.
While I could cut Crown Royal 4 down to 16 tracks and be much happier with it, the full spread of ideas it presents is very interesting. The first portion gets your blood boiling from All Out War to the wildest party track on the tape Let’s Turn Up which starts “Step up in the club everybody sitting down. I ain’t come to sit man I came to jump around. Saw a bad clique asked them they name and asked them were they drriiinnkkkiinnng…” It’s a song you could listen too over and over or just when you need to get adrenaline going. Troy is a master yeller who can get loud as Flocka but also shift down into a mid-range growl. Once this tape has you in the throws of hand clap booty shaking glory it gives way to more serious topics.
His RIP Doe B track stands out in form and content. Instead of lacing gentle tribute over lush piano, he voices the loud lament of unfortunate violence. The beat punches a sprinting drum pattern and you realize this is a song Doe B would have loved. The young rapper taken before his time by violence is spoken of frankly and with a shell shocked sense of tragedy “I don’t know why they kilt him but they could have worked it out. I done been in this position and we got it figured out. I had people in Augusta sending out the same threats and I know they had 9’s and I know they had Techs. They know I had choppers so we could have went to war. Then one day it just hit us…what the hell for?” Violence is one of the most revered things in rap music. It’s through violent action that many claim what is rightfully theirs from those who would have them suffer for its loss but Pastor Troy has exactly the right take on the loss of Doe B. It’s that same violence that eats all that is good around it. His dedication We Love You Trayvon is similar in its righteous indignation and soft tragic center. Examples about the cost of violence are all throughout (listen to I Trusted This Young N__) .
The biggest positive characteristic of Crown Royal 4 is that as crunk as it gets, and I mean throwing bows screw face crunk, never for an instant does it sacrifice its heart by saying outrageous things Pastor Troy can’t stand by. That’s a pretty amazing feat on a project that’s twenty three tracks long. With that much time how much stupidness would you have talked?
Stream or Download Crown Royal 4 below: