Mister CR (also known as Cali Rag of the Eastside Badstads) has been putting it down for a long time. He was an integral part of the Good Life movement and later a central member of the Afterlife Crew, introduced to many listeners with his tongue twisting a cappella on CVE's Declassified album. After his partner Misfit went away for a long prison stint and his brother Versatyle quit rapping, CR focused his attention on the newly formed Rumble Pacc, formed by CR and the late Crow Loc. In more recent years, CR has become much more prolific, releasing several albums a year between his work with the Goodlife Bullyz, the Project Blowed Hardcore Street Hop Division, and his solo work.
His most recent solo project, All Green Everything, released on Self Jupiter and Daddy Kev's The Order Label, is possibly CR's most polished and well-rounded album thus far. The album kicks off with CR acknowledging those who have double crossed him in the past, but rather than dwelling on negativity, his mantra "it's all green" represents progress and moving forward, and much like his other recent projects we see CR transitioning into more mature, grown man bars, with a focus on positivity. That, of course, still leaves ample room for his trademark shit talking (hell, he had an album called Shit Talkin), but with All Green Everything, CR achieves a balance of different styles. One moment, he's introspective, speaking on his lessons learned as a youngster, the next his rhymes are chock-full of braggadocio and warnings to those who might cross the invisible line drawn in the sand.
All Green Everything is also a reference to the Eastside Hustlas, CR's gang, dedicated to forward motion and stacking paper. Fellow Eastside Hustlas P Loc the Don, Flossy Bee, Spook Loc and Ewokalypse contribute verses, while past collaborator DJ Seedless contributes some cuts to the album closer. Sonically, the album has many moods, moving from the club ("All This Money on Me"), to the cipher ("They Call Me"), to the hood ("East Up"), again, achieving a nice balance. "Extras", the album's main single, is a reminder to stick to the script and not say more than you need to to get your point across. "Legal Tender" is a hustler's anthem, reinforcing the overall theme of album, which sees CR describing the lessons that shaped his drive for profits: "Money's the root of all evil, but you also need it to survive/ so you can miss me with that jive."
CR has come a long way since The Badstad's Biggest of the Baddest cassette. He may have slowed down his flow a bit, but now he has a lot more to say. You can cop All Green Everything on iTunes, Bandcamp or Google Play. Physical copies coming soon...