City High is a trio consisting of rappers slash singers Ryan Toby, Robbie Pardlo and Claudette Ortiz. The two male group members was originally signed to Wyclef Jean’s Booga Basement imprint as a duo, but the group became a trio when Wyclef realized that they resembled another group on his roster, The Product G&B, too much. Ortiz was added to the group after her effort on the groups first hit single “What Would You Do” from the Life OST in 1999. City High drew comparisons to Wyclef’s super-group, The Fugees for two main reasons: the first being that the make-up of the band was two male members and a superstar female member, and also the fact that the members both sang and rapped. Unlike The Fugees, however, City High had more of an R&B slant.
1. Didn’t Ya
Didn’t Ya seems to be a mixture between a song and an intro to this album. The group is singing over a smooth beat and you can sense from the first song of the album what type of music City High is gonna offer.
2. Three Way
Three Way is a funky type of RnB song. I’m not a City High knowitall so I’m not sure on this one but I think this is a solo track from one of the male singers. Either that or it’s a duo between the two male members. Either way, it’s a cool track but nothing you’ll bve hearing at the club.
The third song on the album doesn’t have the funky vibe to it like Three Way had. Why has more of a jazzy sound to it. On this song, the three members sing one verse each. It’s a real smooth song that you can bump when your future babymama is coming over (unless you get some rubbers). Yeah, it’s a sexual song.
4. Song For You
On Song For You, Wyclef makes his first appearance on the album, even though he’s just basically doing some adlibs here and there. By the guitarr and just the feel of the song, you can tell Wyclef produced it (I don’t even have to check the credits for this one). Actually, you can tell Wyclef had a big say in this album by the quality of the production – it’s top notch. This track is real tight… it’s got a special feel to it.
5. 15 Will Get You
15 Will Get You is another one of those funky tracks. Hiphop producer Klark Kent produced this song and Wyclef is featuring with a verse, rapping. It’s a funky song and a real nice beat, but nothing all that special. Atleast not compared to most of the other songs on this album.
6. Cat And Dogs
Cat And Dogs is a hiphop track. The group is rapping and by how they mix rapping and singing you can tell that Wyclef has been a big influence on the group members. To me, it’s cool to mix rapping and singing as long as you don’t try to be some hard core gangsta rapper. Wyclef, however, is an all around artist. He can do it, and so can his protige group. It’s dope!
This is a Claudette Ortiz solo song. It’s a mixture between a funky sound and a smooth Ashanti type of song. I like where this is going. It’s a real good song.
8. Best Friends
Best Friends is a typical RnB song. It’s so RnB it doesn’t even fit in on this album. Even though City High is an RnB group, they have a funky sound that makes their genre more hard to define. They’re in the Wyclef genre which is a new genre where different styles mix. This, however, is RnB. That’s cool though. It’s an enjoyable song.
This song is about how one of the group members is telling a friend how he hooked up with his sister. Now that’s not something you want your homeboy to say… but if it ever happened to me I’d like for it to be said through a song like this. But after the part about how the sister is pregnant comes on, fists would still be thrown. Either way, real nice song.
10. What Would You Do
What Would You Do was the smash single from this album. Everybody was loving it and everybody still is. If you haven’t heard this song, you need to get out more. It’s a real real good song where the band members are talking to a single mom working as a stripper. The message is deep and the different angles is what makes it even better. Ofcourse, the way the band delivers the message and the beat is obviously why this was such a big hit. It’s funny how they got a Dr. Dre beat mixed up into the song for a few seconds aswell. The song could be longer though.
11. So Many Things
Top notch smash single What Would You Do is followed up by So Many Things, a cheezy love song about how the group want to ask questions to their ex or something. It’s a nice slow cut but nothing compared to the previous track.
12. The Only One I Trust
The Only One I Trust is Claudette Ortiz singing about the only one she loves and trust. The beat is what makes the song and I can imagine playing this while smoking a fat blunt. Actually, I will… Give it a minute and you’ll like it too. Don’t be too fast on that next button.
13. City High Anthem
Ok, so for you to name a song the City High Anthem, you need to make a real real dope song. After all, this song is about to represent your group. On this song, the group members sing about their backrounds and where they came from. It’s a real cool song, but I wasn’t impressed until the twist came in after about two minutes. That was a good move by the producer. Also, it’s cool to hear a lil background on the group.
14. You Don’t Know Me
Okay so the group first tells the listeners about themselves, and then they come back saying “you don’t know me”? What’s up? You don’t know me either! ***** you! Nah, seriously though, it’s not what it seems. This song is real funky and Wyclef did his part real well on the production. Real tight song.
15. Do The Right Thing (UK Bonus)
Do The Right Thing is on the UK version of the disc. I guess I’ve got that one. US listeners aren’t missing out on anything major: This is RnB on a Hiphop beat. The track’s got a male rapper featured but the cover or booklet doesn’t say who.
16. It Ain’t The Same (UK Bonus)
It Ain’t The Same is a pure hiphop track. It’s a good one at that. It doesn’t really go with the rest of the album, but I could care less. Sounds like a Rass Kass track to me. Check it.
What Would You Do is the best song on this album. There is no doubt about that. The song was a mega hit when it came out and it’s still good to hear it to this day. The rest of the album doesn’t keep the same level as that one song, but it does keep a high level. With Wyclef behind a majority of the production, you know that the album will contain quality production.
Wyclef uses a mixture between RnB and HipHop in his music. City High is trying to do the same even though they are more of an RnB group. City High will always be in Wyclef’s shadow. However, being in Wyclef’s shadow might even be a good thing.
I rate this album 4 out of 5 and expect more from future releases.