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Cries of a Rose: The Hood's Tragedy - Kevin Anglade review

Written by: Alex Kehn

Kevin Anglade has created a unique cinematic album experience with his recently released LP Cries of a Rose: the Hood's Tragedy. Cries of a Rose follows our main character Richard "Roy" Parks Jr., a 20-year-old man from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, as he attempts to make a name for himself in the world of hip-hop. The story of Cries of a Rose occurs in the early 90s and it details Richard's attempts to join Puff Daddy's record label, Bad Boy Records. Throughout the album, Richard Parks Jr. endures his fair share of struggles, attempting to leave a life of drug dealing and crime all while trying to care for his infant daughter and while in the midst of reconciling with his girlfriend and mother to his other daughter. Roy's close friend Gary Johnson is also attempting to achieve his own personal goal: becoming the biggest drug lord in New York City, and he attempts to recruit Roy to help him reach his goal. Roy is left in a predicament where he is forced to make a decision, pursue his dream of becoming a musician, take care of his family, or remain in the cycle of hustling drugs.

Cries of a Rose unfolds over 3 acts, entitled emotions, hand that was dealt, and the healing. The first act introduces Roy to the listener and presents the issues that are currently plaguing his life, culminating with a brief stay in jail. The second act starts as soon as Roy is released from jail, which is when Roy wishes to improve his life and distance himself from the hustler lifestyle that he has become accustomed to. The final act depicts Roy's final decision-making process as to whether or not he is going to pursue hip-hop or if he will fall victim to the unfortunate society he finds himself living in. I will not reveal Roy's final decision in this review. You have to listen yourself in order to find out how the situation resolves itself.

Lyrically, it is clear that Kevin Anglade has a hip-hop-centered mindset, incorporating references to hip-hop and r&b throughout the course of this record. An example of a reference to another song is during the conclusion of the track Never End, where Anglade sings part of the Frank Ocean track, Thinkin Bout You. Kevin Anglade's flow during the verses works well with the beats that were chosen for each track. The beats give this LP a slight gospel feel, although every beat is unique and not something that is typically heard elsewhere. The features throughout Cries of a Rose: The Hood's Tragedy work very synergistically with the rest of the album, with none of them feeling out of place.

In conclusion, I would recommend giving Cries of a Rose: The Hood's Tragedy a listen if you are looking for an album that is cinematic and very story-based, akin to Good Kid m.A.A.d City by Kendrick Lamar. The story is captivating and you truly get to learn quite a bit about all of the characters throughout this LP. Overall I firmly believe that this album is worth a listen.


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