Problem is, on wax -- where listeners have time to really tear apart the words -- Francis' lyrics lack depth. This is why Human the Death Dance, Francis' second disc for Epitaph, resembles a hoochie mama who looks like a 10 from afar, but up close is clearly a butterface. Almost every line sounds profound before you've processed it: "I've seen a wealthy man melt into the snow and blow his credit on a decongestant," and "Toe tags get caught in my teeth 'cause my foot is in my mouth." So . . . he's dead?
But songs like "Got Up This Morning" and "Hell of a Year" could be fun if Francis' whiny voice didn't dominate the mix. The guy should take a lesson from Brother Ali and learn that socially conscious rap needn't be a buzzkill.