by August Alsina


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For those who didn't get around to checking the brief 2013 release Downtown: Life Under the Gun, August Alsina opens his first full-length with "Testify," a ballad that, with grim elegance, lays out the New Orleans native's background. Within a matter of four minutes, he sings of abandonment, envy, poverty, desperation, survival, and the death of his brother. When he confesses, "Didn't graduate, I'm thinkin' damn, I gotta deal," it's as if he is confronting a reality that coping and selling drugs -- "just to get a meal" -- are one and the same. Alsina begins the following "Make It Home" with "I don't always do what I should, but I do what I gotta do" like he has lived through what no young man -- or any other human -- should ever experience. He's not strictly wrapped up in his world, however, devoting the sweet trunk rattler "You Deserve" to "the girl down the hall, misused and abused." There are a couple slips into material that's beneath him, like "Porn Star," which somewhat amusingly leads to a track titled "FML" that is, ironically, less dreary in color. "Benediction" closes the album proper in a grounded but triumphant manner, where the singer beams, "Now I'm in a place where I ain't gotta scheme no more," like that means much more to him than any material possession. Throughout, Alsina is joined by the likes of Young Jeezy, Pusha T, Fabolous, and Rick Ross, and though he's a natural match with most of them, he could have carried the whole album on his own with ease. This is a gratifying second step from one of the most exciting contemporary R&B artists to appear during the 2010s. ["Ghetto," a Downtown standout, is present in shorter form with Yo Gotti in place of Rich Homie Quan. The Top 15 R&B/Hip-Hop hit "I Luv This Shit" is thrown in as one of two standard-edition bonus tracks, while the deluxe edition adds two additional cuts, including the version of "I Luv This Shit" that features Trey Songz and Chris Brown.]

Product Details

Release Date: 04/15/2014
Label: Def Jam
UPC: 0602537725816
catalogNumber: 002016602
Rank: 24401

Album Credits

Performance Credits

August Alsina   Primary Artist
Featherstones   Musician
Elvis "Blac Elvis" Williams   Vocals
Ralph Jeanty   Vocals
Sam Hook   Vocals
Carlos Cahee   Guitar
Xeryus Gittens   Guitar

Technical Credits

Eric Hudson   Composer,Producer
Tony Rey   Vocal Engineer
Henry "Noonie" Lee   Executive Producer
Bart Schoudel   Engineer
Dan Cahill   Engineer
Karen Kwak   Executive Producer
Dun Deal   Producer
Tai Linzie   Photo Production
Jasper Cameron   Composer,Producer
Steve "Rock Star" Dickey   Vocal Engineer
Scott Naughton   Engineer
Jay Jenkins   Composer
Exclusives   Producer,Vocal Producer
William Roberts   Composer
Terrence Thornton   Composer
Joe Fitz   Engineer
Christopher Gholson   Composer,Producer
Dijon McFarlane   Composer,Producer
DJ Spinz   Producer
John Jackson   Composer
Andy Proctor   Package Production
Terius Nash   Composer
Bobby Ray Simmons   Composer
Sean McMillion   Composer,Engineer
Cody Sciara   Engineer
Ralph Jeanty   Composer
Daniel Zaidenstadt   Vocal Engineer
August Alsina   Composer,Producer
Nicholas Williams   Composer
Donald "D-Day" Albright   Executive Producer
Briana Payne   Engineer
Kevin Harp   Art Direction,Illustrations
Alexander Newell   Vocal Engineer
John "$K" McGee   Composer,Producer
Cassius Jay   Producer
Beatfreqz   Producer
Korner Keyz   Producer
Knucklehead   Producer

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