Shade Sheist tries to move beyond the East/West Coast division on Informal Introduction and ends up nowhere in particular. Although mainly a West Coast rapper himself — guest performances from Nate Dogg and Warren G do nothing to undermine that impression — Sheist is more of a happy-go-lucky party rapper than much of a gangsta, and tracks like “John Doe” and the R&B-infused “Walk A Mile” seem directly aimed at a younger MTV audience. Shock! Timbaland drops by on “Money Owners,” which isn’t his best work to date, and elsewhere there’s not much groundbreaking or anything too intriguing about this one. A competent, well-produced and at times fun album, Informal Introduction is however too anonymous and generic for its own good and leaves quite a bit to be desired.
MCA Records: http://www.mcahiphop.com