Trife Diesel | Better Late Than Never

Trife da Label (2009)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 22, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

For anyone who best understands things in white suburban terms, hip-hop is similar to lacrosse. Much like the way that any able-bodied preppy chump can grab a long stick and play defense, any third-rate street thug with convincing anger can rock microphones. That said, just as it takes tremendous jockitude to make a star midfielder, such extraordinary curb poets as Wu-Tang affiliate Trife Diesel (formerly Trife Da God) pack more than just standard ghetto diction.

Although Better Late is being touted as the diamond-throated Staten Island rapper's long-overdue debut, Trife has scored plenty of highlight goals with guest verses alongside extended teammates, and with Put It on the Line, his 2005 duo effort with Ghostface. Better Late is agile — with didacticism ("Stronger Man"), autobiographical potpourri ("Better Late Than Never"), and even some good old Duke lax misogyny ("What Did I Do Wrong?").

Still, there's a clear difference between legendary buzzer beaters, like the Ghostface-assisted "Live Nigga Night Out," and shots that miss the net, like "Listen Carefully." Trife has an Ironman looming in his future, and given how long he's ridden the bench (besides which, he's far too strong an MC to suffer a sophomore slump), his hat trick might very well come next time he steps into the crease.
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