The “S” in the title is stylized with a dollar sign, so the final song makes sense. Too bad its melody is lifted from a Prince song. Esham has never been particularly creative as a music artist and that’s part of the problem here. His bars are decent enough; on rare occasion, even surprisingly profound; but his hooks and overall concepts leave a lot to be desired. At 43 years old, the Detroit native is a lot less mischievous, thus less interesting, than he used to be. The rapper who once portrayed himself as an entity from Hell apparently wants to be a Christian role model.
“I don’t want to live like I used to live,” he says at one point, “I don’t want to be the peson I used to be.” That may be a major disappointment for long-time fans, but they can take solace in the fact that he’s not fully converted as of yet. Black Sheep sounds like vintage Esham. It also features one of the album’s best beats, along with Time Card and Organic. Esham’s music production, as crude as it sounds when it comes to the technical art of mixing and mastering, is still the best thing about him as an artist, though he sometimes sways too far into druggy experimentation.
my rating : 3 of 5