|All Money Is Legal||Roc-a-fella||7.0|
|This album suffers from inconsistency. Amil never really comes through and truly shines like she did on other songs where she was the gues. The album's strongest songs are the one featuring Jay-Z. For example the track 'Heard It All' looks to be a big hit.. '4 Da Fam' is already blazing due to strong showings from Beanie and Memphis Bleek. I kept waiting for Amil to catch wreck.. |
The other misgivings of this album is the overt commercialism of many of the songs. It definitely seemed like it was being made for radio.. Amil comes through on a couple of tracks including the rough and rugged 'Anyday'. Her opening song 'Smile 4 Me' is a retrospective heartfelt song..
Bottom Line: Amil needs to come outta her shell more and let loose..
|BB Queen||Good Vibe||7.5|
|This underrated Philly native hits your dome with some laid back, jazz flavored grooves. Bahamadia may be a head of the curve on this outting since she's not taking her clothes off or acting thugged out.. You want creativity?? You got it on the album. Strictly for the headz..|
Bottom Line: Cool..Laidback yet in your face head nodding vibes to ponder over...
|The Album||Fade||7.0||This album doesn't break much new ground. Its another thugged out, be a baller type venture. Cleveland rapper Big Gank has decent rhyme skills although the subject matter could vary.. he really shines on a song called "Me Without A Rhyme'. I wish he took this album more in that direction and continued to showcase his true potential. The other material doesn't really do much for me..
Bottom Line: You might get ganked buying this album..|
|Misfortunes of a Man||Antra||7.0|
|This West Philly native brings a consistant album that is best characterized by cool beats and nice hooks on many of the songs.. I'm not sure if he brings anything unique and groundbreaking to the table.. He would've been better to release this as an EP and cut away some of the filler trcaks. I like the fact that he doesn't do all sorts of collaborations. We get a chance to really peep out Crush on his own terms.. The album has a nice bonus track which is untitled yet hittin'. Stand out cuts include the head nodding, 'What Y'all Wanna Do', The excorcist inspired ''Feelin' Me' and 'It's Hot'...|
Bottom Line: This West Philly native although in the house needs to go back to the lab..
|A solid album from long time DJ Hurricane. Not to many filler songs and quite a few gems including 'Kicking Wicked Rhymes' which features Black Thought of The Roots and Adrock of the Beastie Boys. Other songs like the Cheryl Lynn inspired 'Keep It Real' featuring Faith Evans, 'the head noddin 'Come get It' with the Flipmode Squad and the cleverly remade Che Che La Femme cut called 'Hurra's So Fly' take this album over the top.. |
Bottom Line: There's a storm brewing on this album..Don't sleep..
|Rule 3:36||def Jam||7.0|
|Maybe its me..but I'm not really feeling this album.. There are some good cuts.. But after a while everything seems to sound the same.. I'm not quite sure about the matry syndrome thats going on here.. Ja Rule seems a bit pre-occupied with death.. whats up with that? It would be better if he dug deeper like DMX.. Anyway standout cuts include..the slow Hip Hop love song 'I Cry' and the club flavored 'Extasy'.|
Bottomline: I can only take Ja Rule in small doses...
|the Dynasty Roc La Familia 2000||Roc-A-Fella||9.0|
|The new Roc-A-Fella album entitled 'The Dynasty Roc La Familia 2000'is an incredible album.
I kid you not when I emphatically say this is some next level stuff
for Jay-Z and his crew. It is absolutely 100% off the meat rack..
Its incredible. Song after song after song knocks and it becomes
apparent that Memphis Bleek, Beanie Siegal and Jay Z had been holding
back their dopest material until now.|
For west coast headz Jay-Z has shown both growth as an artist as well as his appreciation for the love he has gotten out here, especially in the Bay.It is reflected in the music. He uses Bay Area producer Rick Rock on a couple of tracks including the very popular 'Parking Lot Pimpin' which is an authentic Bay Area saying. He also does a nice track with Snoop called 'Get Your Mind Right Mami'.
Other standout joints include 'This Can't Be Life' featuring Scarface and 'Guilty To Proven Innocent' featuring R Kelly. Heads will really enjoy '1-900-Hustler' and 'You, Me, Him and Her'. The track that will really touch a nerve is the emotionally charged 'Where Have You Been'. Here Beanie Sigel rips a heart felt song about a after who has mistreated and abandoned his family.
The Dynasty Roc La Familia 2000' is marked by the fact that you can feel the friendship between the entire click. Most of the songs seem to be coming from the heart. There are no filler tracks and each of the players seem to open themselves up to the audience. The stories they tell are vivid. The music is banging. The only concern was Amil who was noticeably absent. Rumors have been circulating that she is either pregnant or has had a falling out with the Roc-A-Fella squad. In any case the album is off the hook..Jigga takes his craft to the next level. Folks are gonna have a hard time fronting on this album..
Bottom Line: I got to give this one a 10!
|Beware of Dog||Columbia||7.0|
|Bow Wow's album is cool and unlike most albums done by rappers, he shows potential to be around after he gets older. The album is crafted to have strong radio and commercial appeal although there is one solid underground track I might start playing called 'The Dog In Me'.. Another cool song to peep is the humorous 'Ghetto Girls where Lil Bow Wow raps about females hairstyles.. My only problem with this album is that his subject matter is suprisngly mature.. he's rapping about grinding and macking to women.. However, he's being heavily marketed to the young kids audience.. What message is he trying to send???|
Bottom Line: What's up with these kids nowadays???
|A solid album from LL. It's much better then his last one. His rhymes are more potent and he brings to life the style that has mnade him a Hip Hop icon.. LL raps for the ladies with a combination of enticing rhymes and commercial yet seductive beats..|
Bottom Line: He may not be the Greatest of alltime.. but he's back..
|Back For The First Time||def Jam||7.0|
|Not bad for the first signing of def Jam South. This Atlanta based group doesn't fall into the stereotype of what we percive southern flava to sound like..The group is energetic and deliver a solid album. They need some work in making you really feel their songs.. The album seemd a bit formulaic.. |
Bottom Line: A good debut album for Ludicris.. Lets see if they can take it up a notch..
|This Brownsville dou of Billy Danz and Lil Fame bring a strong, solid album to the table. They manage to straddle the fence of appealing to the thugs, hustlers and bling bling cats as well as Hip Hop's underground.. Their beats are knocking.. Their rhyme style is energetic and intense.. They have great charisma.. Their upbeat energy can be draining at times but who's complaining..Strong cuts on the album include their current hit 'Ante Up', 'Everyday' and 'Calm Down' The album also has great production from DJ Premier.|
Bottom Line: Props to this Brownsville duo for representing the streets..
|Nature For All Seasons||Columbia||7.0|
|There's not much happening on this album that would make me wanna go out and purchase it.. The tracks are typical.. There's nothing ground breaking.. Natuyre attempts to bring some lyrical diversity as he weaves between Hip Hop love songs, lifetime restrospectives and all out thug songs.. Unfortunately you never get a true feel for him because the tracks never match the emotions of his song...|
Bottom Line: Nature doesn't blossom this season.. he needs more sunshine and watering..
|I like parts of this album but not all of it.. I give the group major props for them pushing the musical boundary and being creative.. But its a bit to much.. I was looking for more songs like their mega hit Ms Jackson and other slamming tracks like 'So Fresh So Clean'.. Instead what I got was alot of songs that will probably grow on me over time.. |
Bottomline: These guys are on some next level stuff..very song ain't bumping on this album..
Bottomline: These guys are on some next level stuff..very song ain't bumping on this album..
|There has been a lot of controversy and anticipation about Shyne. Although he hates to get into conversations about it.. It's the fact that he sounds like Biggie which led to everyone trying to snag him early on..I'm not sure if him being on Bad Boy is a good match, because he winds up holding all of the baggage Puffy brings to the situation. In other words its hard to get passed Puffy, Bad Boy and Biggie to appreciate or even fairly listen to Shyne.. |
So how's the album? It's ok.. It proabably would've been a good first outting for anyone else, but because of Shyne and all the drama around him, one expected a lot more and I don't feel he fully delivered.. The music is not the best and not ground breaking at all. Unlike on other Bad Boy tracks.. Puff didn't bring any standout club cuts other then the reggae flavored 'Bad Boyz' which features Barrington Levy.. 'That's Gangsta' which borrows from the Fosters 'Misdemeanor' which was in turn made famous by The DOC and his cut 'Funky Enough', is a cool song.. He also has a song with Slim from 112 which shows some potential 'Get Out' The other cut that stands out is 'Bonnie & Shyne' which also features Barrington Levy..
One of the problems I have with Shyne is that he raps about all his street/hustling thug life..Its something he's definitely been through, but he is no where near the the skill level of Biggie.. Because he sounds like BIG I'm waiting and expecting him to rap on that level and be compelling in his rap and story telling.. He never gets there.. Hence I have to force myself to try and like Shyne for being Shyne.. It's hard to do.. because he constantly reminds me of Biggie.. and makes me wish it was him rapping on the mic..
Bottom line: He ain't no Biggie..but he's doing his best to Shyne..
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