Reality Rapping?

Shwayze (Suretone Records)

By Kory Wilcoxson

Reality TV has produced more than its share of "stars," and MTV is banking on a similar outcome for Shwayze, the "only black kid in Malibu." With the help of producer and Hollywood bad boy Cisco Adler, Shwayze has put together a typical MTV offering: a lot of hype and flash and only a little substance.

Shwayze's rapping is pure L.A. stoner, the love child of Jack Johnson and Pigeon John. While his style is mellower than the typical Snoop Dogg West Coast rap, the topics hover in the same well-worn areas of parties, women and living the high life. What sets Shwayze apart is his cool-breeze delivery and Adler's interjected vocals.

That works for a few songs, like "Buzzin'" and "Don't Be Shy," but it can't sustain interest for a whole album. About halfway through the CD, the songs begin to ring familiar in a tired way, and by the time Shwayze raps about "Mary Jane," you wonder if he's taken a bit too much of his own medicine.

If you must, you can get more at