Saturday, August 23, 2008 | Posted in ,,,

Once the Smith & Wesson gun company realized there was a pair of rappers performing under the name "Smif-N-Wessun," the duo had to change their name. They chose Cocoa Brovaz and released their second album, Rude Awakening (possibly a reference to their legal troubles), under that moniker in the spring of 1998. All things considered, the legal mishap was little more than a speed bump for the duo; the end result is every bit as good as their first effort.
The pair of hardcore gangstas are still hurt by their reliance on clich├ęs -- when it comes right down to it, they aren't offering any new insights, they're simply redoing the standard dope-money-guns-n-hoes line -- but they're saved by their energy and hard-hitting delivery. Usually, that makes the standard-issue music fairly compelling, but there are moments that drag on Rude Awakening. In other words, it's an improvement and a step forward in Cocoa Brovaz developing their own identity.

01. Off The Wall (Feat. Professor X)
02. Still Standin' Strong
03. Won On Won
04. Live At The Garden (Skit)
05. Blown Away (Feat. Buckshot)
06. Money Talks (Skit)
07. The Cash
08. Black Trump (Feat. Raekwon)
09. Dry Snitch (Feat. Smack Man & Head Arabic)
10. Game Of Life (Feat. F.L.O.W.)
11. Back 2 Life
12. Bucktown USA
13. What They Call Him (Skit)
14. Hold It Down (Feat. Storm)
15. Spanish Harlem (Feat. Tony Touch & Hurricane G)
16. Myah Angelow (Feat. Sean Price & Deidra Artis)
17. Memorial (Feat. Eek-A-Mouse)

This was slept on by a lot of people, I think due to the high anticipation of the album, regarding their name change and the classic status of their debut. This has since been help in high esteem, some people preferring this over Dah Shinin'. I wouldn't go that far but this was definitely a dope release in it's own right and stands high as one of the best album of the late 90's!