I Can't Call It: Expect The Unexpected - Tracey Lee

Posted On Thursday, January 3, 2019

It's been 20+ years since the man I like to describe as the only MC beside Jay to go toe to toe with BIG and hold his own, Tray Lee dropped his classic banger "The Theme" off his highly slept on debut album "Many Facez." But then just like Keyser Soze is Usual Suspects...dude was gone. Word  eventually got to ear that dude went to law school and was a full time lawyer now which is dope but come on...one of the nicest cats Philly ever produced just didn't up and retire, did he? Nah...dude was too nice to just leave the game like that. So to set off 2019 right, we've got one of the nicest from the city of brotherly love on tap with his new album "Expect The Unexpected" on tap.

"Expect The Unexpected" sets off with the banger "Smoke" and has Tray showing us he hasn't lost a step during his hiatus "a lot we could talk about on this project, one that a black woman is not an object/the rate of black men that die ain't been processed, black power via black economics/you can not box me in I'm accomplished, could party and still be socially conscious/could spit live but yet the flow is still aqua, the heart of Killmonger soul of T'challa/the people are sheep and would rather follow, the kind of MC that gotta be coddled/and not a MC with this kind of bravado, protoype to handle the mic like Cus D'amato." The album's first single "Doc Brown" bangs with it's T La Rock's "It's Yours" sample while "Get This Money" takes you and your squad to the club. "D.W.I.W.D." featuring Prodigy reminds me of BIG's "Notorious Thugs" cause Tray uses that Migos mumble style & flips it 100% better then they do. "Spoken For" featuring Sy Smith which is Tray's dedication to his wife and checks off the box for that adult contemporary hip hop that I'm always saying we need now more then ever "Get It Right" featuring Tanner Lee has Tray letting folk know that you're not pulling nuthin over on this Philly bul.

"Eye Wonder" has Tray looking down memory lane "in essence would I be making records if I never heard the message" and "No Worries" ends the album on a VERY dope note but my fave banger on "Expect..." is "Come Thrue" featuring soul music favorite son Eric Roberson and has Tray & E. Roberson trading bars back and forth like a classic Erick and Parrish record, "you ignoring my invite to take a flight, you just got outta something and that's aiight/I think I found a better way to break the ice, pool bbq then later on order the fight/ look ain't no pressure at all it's something light, my brother E coming through & bringing his wife/and she done told the crew Key and Nika and Mo and some other folk from HU that you just might know/now in the midst of socializng & humor, you may hear the sensationalized of rumors, from two I used to mess with in the part as a youngin, still trippin I ain't know they were cousins, that was nuthin." Then E kills it with "now lets let the past be the past, do me a favor and pass me the glass/my wife is under me like a coaster, sitting on the sofa like we supposed to/now everybody come in & take your shoes off, I like your girl's toes man they kinda look soft/but I ain't looking too long man I don't want no trouble, we'll talk about it later when we huddle up/but now baby girl can we cuddle up, talk sweet in your ear little buttercup/we got company when you're with me, heart skips like double dutch." Yeah...this jawn is DOOOOOOOOOPE!

I once saw an interview with Young Guru and he was saying how he had to tell Jay "I need that barbershp record." That record when folk in the barbershop say that sucha such is wack or ain't bringing it like they used to, they you can play them and it shuts them up. And if there's anything missing from  "Expect The Unexpected" it's that barbershop record. That boom bap jawn that cats would reach out to Primo, Just Blaze or Alchemist for. That record that would've been recorded in D&D if we were back in '95. That record that would have cats scrunching up their faces and giving each other pounds. Now don't get it twisted, their are more then enough bars are "Expect..." and producer OJizz comes correct on the beats but again, I would've mos def killed for that barbershop record. But the dope thing is, with Tray behind the mic again I'm sure that barbershop record is coming and I'd bet a chicken cheesesteak from my favorite spot Delassandros in Philly we won't have to have another 20 years to get it either.

4 outta 5 mics

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