Casanova plays a paranoid street n***a that has trouble balancing a life of crime with a life of fruitfulness in “Behind These Scars.”
5. KNOCK KNOCK
“Knock Knock” is a song that is right up Casanova’s alley. On it, you get a vicious version of the rapper that is seeking revenge, federal charges, and respect.
I’m not even sure Casanova is rapping in this song… If you ask me, it sounds like he’s venting about a n***a that severely did him wrong a few years back.
4. LIVE (FT. GIGGS)
“Live” is a cold ass banger that features nothing but real ass lyrics by Casanova and Giggs about living a simple life, ducking shots from foes, putting baby mamas on blast, and dealing with money woes.
While I love Giggs’ signature ghoulish bars on this track, it’s Cass’ gassed up, yet sobering verses that catches my attention the most.
3. STAY WIT IT
It’s impossible to NOT love the following about “Stay Wit It”: The riveting instrumental that powers it, Cassanova’s intimidating, yet real ass bars about staying strapped and taking on fake n***as, and lastly, the energy the New York rapper spits with throughout. In other words, this song should be special to you — especially if you are really putting in work in the streets.
2. COMING HOME
I am always down for a gangsta ass love song like “Coming Home!”
If you are a thug with a tender side, “Coming Home” will strike a chord with you! On the semi-romantic track, both Casanova and Chris Brown let their respective women know how much they appreciate their mental and physical offerings. While both Chris and the instrumental to the track give off sensual vibes, Casanova gives off gangsta vibes on his verses, as he spews out nothing but raw lyrics about what he wants to do to his chick. On the real, I love the mixing of the two different styles.
“Faded Pictures” was my s**t back in the day! Matter of fact, I used to close my eyes whenever I listened to it!
1. SO BROOKLYN (FT. FABOLOUS)
“So Brooklyn” is an anthem everyone from New York should be proud of. First and foremost, the intense track features one of the most riveting hip-hop instrumentals I’ve ever heard. Over this instrumental, both Casanova and Fabolous pay homage to their city — with the former paying homage to his city by ferociously bragging about his heinous/violent ways, and the latter paying homage to his city by talking about his winning/sly ways. When you combine the two vastly different styles together, what you get is a song that reminds you how diverse of a city Brooklyn is.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. JAIL CALL (4/5)
2. KNOCK KNOCK (4/5)
3. SO BROOKLYN (4.5/5)
4. SO DRIPPY (3.5/5)
5. WOAH (3/5)
6. COMING HOME (4.5/5)
7. IN MY HOOD (4/5)
8. STAY WIT IT (4.5/5)
9. COULD’VE BEEN SOMETHIN’ (4/5)
10. LIVE (4/5)
Casanova’s energy is impeccable. What I like about “Behind These Scars” is that Casanova finds a way to divide his impeccable energy into soulful music, hardcore music, romantic music, and whatever the hell you will call “So Drippy.”
The first thing that will surprise you about “Behind These Scars” is the many different styles of music you get on it. In “Jail Call,” what you get from Casanova is an emotional banger that features depressing lyrics about drowning in jail, and from there, you get passionate street cuts like “Knock Knock,” “In My Hood,” “So Brooklyn,” and “Live,” in addition to passionate love songs such as “Coming Home” and “Could’ve Been Somethin’.” On some songs Casanova comes across like a n***a that has a screw loose, while in other songs, he comes across like a gentle human-being that is all about respecting anyone who respects him. In other words, this album will keep you on your toes, even if those toes of yours aren’t quite familiar with the term ‘bi-polar.’
“Behind These Scars” is great when it comes to production! A good chunk of the beats you hear on the album are riveting, as they boast action-packed vibes. You also get a few beats that are smooth as hell, which I think allows Casanova to cross-over to genres he probably shouldn’t be allowed to cross-over to.
I wasn’t really feeling the guest appearances on “Behind These Scars.” Don’t get me wrong, Chris Brown and Fabolous did their thing in their respective songs, but I thought Gunna and Young Thug were forgettable in “So “Drippy,” Jeremih was so-so in “Woah,” and Kaycyy Pluto sounded like a complete amateur in “Could’ve Been Something.” Believe it or not, I could’ve listened to “Behind These Scars” without features.
“Behind These Scars” is short, but Casanova did enough on the album to convince me that he’s more than just a street n***a that happens to know how to rap on it. In my opinion, Cass’ did a great job of diversifying his topics, switching up his style of rapping, plugging in features that could play perfect supporting cast members to him, and reminding the world that he still has hood ties. For such a balance, I feel you need to be hungry to shake off a stereotype placed on you by someone else… S**t, what am I saying, who’s brave enough to actually place a stereotype on Casanova’s head?
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.