Cardin Nguyen is one hardworking kid in showbiz. He writes his own lyrics, produces his own tracks and sings his own tunes, but he can’t obscure the fact that he doesn’t have what it takes to make even just a passable record. Va Hom Nay… Now I Know, his new release, is a proof. His rhymes are elementary; his beats come straight out of the club factory; and his singing is still mediocre. Even Auto-Tune couldn’t help correct his wimpy pitch.
On “Sell Out,” a sacrilege sample of Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real,” Cardin addresses those who talk behind his back. He mumbles some shit about daring someone to write a song and throw it back at him. He also accuses somebody of a copycat who can’t even translate some lyrics. He tries to talk in a tough voice, but you can tell, dude can’t even break grapes in a food fight.
His soft side comes out on Truc Ho’s “Va Hom Nay” and the Chinese-inflected “Mai Yeu Nguoi Thoi” with Chosen who drops some kindergarten rhymes about some chick who had done him wrong, even though he tatted her name on his arm. As if the slow version isn’t dull enough, he cuts another lounge session that is perfect for, well, lounging. And if you isn’t fallen asleep by then, the “Outro Lullaby,” which he sings for his child when it’s time to turn out the lights, will make sure you do.
To be fair, Cardin deserves the props for making his own music. Just give him about twenty more albums and he might get somewhere. We’ll see.