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Eric Wilson

The Warm-Up (Scratchpaper)

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Many an up-and-coming artist has used his debut to show everything he can do. It's tempting -- all the more so when the artist is also a producer with tracks he can shop around the hip-hop universe.

Cleveland's Eric Wilson, head of his own Scratchpaper Productions, certainly makes an asset of his versatility on The Warm-Up, with quality tunes that draw from Aftermath chart fare, Timbaland electronics, and ominous crunk. He's most successful in the latter: The crisply-arranged "Sippin'" and "Weeble Wobble" could pass for the latest southern club smash. However, in his effort to prove that he can do it all, the impact of his standout songs is blunted by the album's 24 tracks. And his vocals too often take a back seat, making it hard to judge him as an MC. Still, his skill as a beatmaker is obvious, suggesting that this could indeed be a Warm-Up for bigger and better things.

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