Cormega – Legal Hustle

Cormega - Legal HustleIf you’ve heard anything about The Firm, you’ve heard about Cormega, the man who was dropped from the group cuz of his jail time. If a rapper can be in the Firm, and then diss Nas and Nature at the same time and still be talked about, shit..he’s good in my book. I decided to check some of his shit, and, well, he’s *****in ill. Corm has that same kind of laid-back voice as AZ, but his style is more complex and his lines are good shit. The result is one of the best rappers out, kind of a mix between AZ and Royce da 5’9”, and so sick that he’s probably a match Nas himself. The only problem is that his mellow voice, like AZ, really doesn’t allow him to put much emotion or passion into his verses. Still, this doesn’t stop him from being one of the best rappers out right now. Ratings: GRR = Horrible, Boo! = Poor, Meh = Avg., Cool = Good, Yeah! = Great, HELL YEAH = Excellent

 

1) Intro ft. Doña, Miz

A soft, laid-back piano beat that fits Corm’s voice. Corm delivers Royce-style tight lyrics; then the beat switches to a more aggressive cut that better fits his labelmates Doña and Miz. Doña however is annoying, a woman with decent skills (Eve-level, I’d say) but with a deep, butch voice that just doesn’t work. Miz, at first listen, sounds like Jay-Z, and he’s okay. (Meh)

2) Beautiful Mind 

Using a slightly different version of, but mostly the same piano beat as labelmate Royce’s T.O.D.A.Y., Corm spits the same sullen, sicc style of deep lyrics on various topics. One of the album’s best tracks.

(Yeah!)

3) Let it Go ft. M.O.P

A kinda hard piano beat somehow manages to suit both Mega and rap duo M.O.P. without making Corm seem too soft. Good competitive track like for a video game soundtrack. (Cool)

4) The Bond ft. Doña 

Doña delivers an actually pretty good verse over this odd but good, echoey, hard-drum beat. Cormega speaks on loyalty. Good collab track. (Cool)

5) Bring it Back 

Over another strange but pretty good, kinda dark beat by Ayatollah), Corm raps a good, uninterrupted 2-minute verse about old MC’s he used to look up to back in the day. (Cool)

6) Hoody ft. Doña 

This is either a very RZA-ish beat I haven’t heard before, or a RZA beat that I have heard, I’m not sure which right now. Corm and Don rhyme to a “crowd,” both coming with the usual–Corm with sickness, Don with so-so verses. However this is one of Cormega’s greatest verses, possibly his best on the album. (Yeah!)

7) Dangerous ft. Vybz Kartel, Unda P. 

Over an aptly dangerous calypso-ish beat, Cormega with good rhymes of course. The reggaeish Vybz delivers a clever, funny verse (Kill Will/Bill Smith just to Kiss Jada…Pinkett) but Una P. comes with the usual Sean Paul type Jamaican jibberish. Good for reggae lovers. (Cool)

8) Tony/Montana ft. Ghost Face Killer

Another one of the best, possibly the best track on the album. The killer and Mega grace a damn soulful beat with great motha*****in rhymes. Tie for Mega’s best verse on the album, and Ghost Face comes with one of his best verses in years. (HELL YEAH!)

9) Personified ft. Doña

A different rendition of Jay-Z’s What More Can I Say, Cormega comes with a real, Nas-style rambling, overlapping verse but with a good, on-point flow like Jay-Z. The letdown here is Don’s poor hook and lacking verse, which kinda dominate this cut. (Meh)

10) Stay Up ft. Kira

A smooth, funkified beat and the woman in the background should have Cormega rapping to a woman, but instead has him rapping complex shit about living in the ghetto and doing whatchu gotta do. The mismatched beat doesn’t stop Corm from dropping some proficient verses. (Cool)

11) Deep Blue Seas ft. Kurupt, Jayo Felony

A bangin, horn-laced cut showcases Kurupt, Jayo and Mega laying great verses. For some reason the high-pitched echoey hook isn’t annoying but I could see it getting old quickly. I really think Royce da 5’9” could have been a great addition to this star-studded song, and as he’s also on Koch it wouldn’t have been hard to negotiate. Oh, well. (Yeah!)

12) More Crime ft. Jacka

My favorite track on this album, very deep with a really soulful beat by Maki. Cormega delivers good verses, and sings the catchy hook pretty well. (HELL YEAH!)

13) Monster’s Ball ft. Banger, Lake, Main O 

A dangerous, deep-piano-laced violin track that has Corm spitting more fire with a good verse from newcomer Banger and decent ones from Nas’ protégé Lake and Main O. (Cool)

14) Redemption ft. AZ

YES! Really good collab track between Cormega and AZ; I’m glad they stayed friends. Both of them with their mellow voices over a laid-back beat makes this really fitting. AZ lays down a really good verse and so does Cormega; one of the best collab tracks and tracks in general on the album. (HELL YEAH!)

15) Respect Me ft. Doña 

Another decent couple of verses from Donny, unfortunately this is her track with no sign or Corm, a waste of a good beat in my opinion. At least this time her hook is pretty good and sets the mood for the dangerous string beat. (Meh)

16) Sugar Ray and Hearns ft. Large Professor 

Cormega and Professor trade verses well here, both giving good rhymes on this laid-back, floaty beat. (Cool)

17) The Machine ft. Doña, Miz

Doña flows really well over this laid-back beat, making her listenable. Miz still sounds a little like Jay-Z, giving more pretty good rhymes but nothing special. Cormega still shines. (Cool)

 

Rating: 3.5/5

End Result: This was a really good album but still had a few falling points. Mostly a showcase for Cormega’s potential. Mega shows his great skill throughout, when the beats lack originality (taking others’ beats and altering them slightly) and the over-abundant guest appearances (especially from Don) give this a bit of a mixtape feel. I would remove a bunch of Don’s verses and a few others from their songs (Lake, Unda P.) and that’s about it. The only joint that really fails at what it tries to do, is Stay Up, proving Cormega still can’t really drop the type of deep, soul-catching tracks as some other MC’s. However the majority are still good, creative, unspoiled cuts, and Cormega moves away from his usual constant disses towards Nas, which is good.

My Recommendation: GET THIS ALBUM, whether a previous Cormega fan or a newcomer. It really showcases what he can do, and is a step up from his previous Nas-obsessed slump.

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