Class of 3000 – Music Volume One

Class of 3000 - Music Volume One1. Class Of 3000 Theme Song (Sunny Bridges, Philly Phil, Kim, Kam, Madison, Li’l D, Eddie and Tamika)

This is really different, as there’s really no rapping, and it’s mostly just a short introduction to the show. I like it, and Andre 3000 produces a really nice, jazz-heavy beat. This whole album is about Andre’s production and the originality of the characters. I dug this, actually, and you have to listen to it in a different context, since this isn’t geared for the gangsta rap lovin’, mixtape listening fans. Good.

2. Life Without Music (Sunny Bridges, Philly Phil Kim, Kam, Madison, Li’l D, Eddie and Tamika)

Andre 3000 produces a very nice, piano beat. This is pretty much the characters talking about how shallow life would be without music. Andre does some singing, and the choir kicks in. Well, this was different, and I actually liked it, oddly enough. Nice humor. Good.

3. Throwdown (Sunny Bridges, Philly Phil, Kim, Kam, Madison, Li’l D, Eddie and Tamika)

Andre’s production is all over the place here, and it just doesn’t sound good, at all. Andre does some singing here, and it just can’t save this really sloppy beat. Yeah, this wasn’t very good, and it’s a shame, since there was some nice effort put into the singing. Wack.

4. Oh Peanut (Sunny Bridges, Eddie, Li’l D, and Madison)

Nice bouncy beat, very clap-happy and it transitions into a really nice jazz-heavy tone. Yeah, this sounds pretty good, with the horns. The singing is pretty simple, and it’s mostly “Oh, Peanut, we love you, baby!” Some of the characters rap about how useful the peanut is, and I like the originality of it all. This is definitely different, and it works. It’s not just different for the sake of being different; it actually has a message, and as simple as it is, it works. Good.

5. We Want Your Soul (Li’l D)

Dark beat, very organ heavy. Andre raps about how people would do whatever to get famous, even if it means selling your soul. The piano kicks in, and it makes the track sound really good. I liked this. Good.

6. Banana Zoo (Sunny Bridges, Philly Phil, Kim, Kam, Madison, Li’l D, Eddie and Tamika)

Bouncy piano beat, and it sounds really good. A nice, party-type track with nice singing, and the characters talking about a funky gorilla. No, I’m not making this up, and it’s actually good because it’s so original. Good stuff. Good.

7. A Richer Shade Of Blue (Sunny Bridges, Li’l D, and Eddie)

Jazz-heavy type track, with a message about how even rich people can have the blues. Definitely something different, with the characters talking about their cultures. Andre was trying for something original, and he definitely scored it here. Good.

8. Fight The Blob (Sunny Bridges)

Very horn-heavy type track, and the message is about fighting a blob with music. Andre does a shot, simple-style rap, and it works. Good track, actually. Good.

9. UFO Ninja (Sunny Bridges and Li’l D)

I’m convinced that Andre is a huge Digital Underground fan, because this sounds like something they’d make, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. This beat is definitely odd, and I can’t really describe it, maybe a drum-heavy Asian-style beat. There’s some odd singing, and that’s about it. I liked this. Good.

10. Kim Kam Jam (Kim and Kam)

Pretty nice, bouncy piano beat. That’s pretty much the whole song, with the characters talking. This worked, and listening to a good-sounding piano jam is always fun. Good.

11. Luna Love (Professor Luna, Sunny Bridges and Madison)

Latin-style beat, with some comedy mixed in. Nice, catchy singing, and with Andre, you can always count on that. This was catchy. Good.

12. The Crayon Song (Sunny Bridges)

Disco-style beat, and it’s really fun sounding. Andre does a really good job singing and making this track nothing but fun. Rap fans can be stuck up, and that’s a shame, since this whole album is about having fun, especially this track. Really nice stuff from Andre, and probably the best track on the album. Good.

13. My Mentor

Nice jazz track. Nothing but nice sounding horns, and a nice sounding piano. The whole track consists of this, and that, of course, is great. No lyrics, just great music. Good.

14. Cool Kitty (Sunny Bridges, Tamika, Mackenzie and Kaylie)

Nice, 50’s-style, beach beat. The characters talk about being cool, and this is something different, and while I’m not really into it, I think others would dig it. To me, this is a nice beat, mixed in with semi-annoying characters. Average.

All in all, I’m going to give this a “Good” rating. Andre 3000 definitely tried to do something different, and it worked. This is pretty much a kid’s album, but adults would dig it, too. It’s pretty much a jazz track, mixed in with some fun characters from the show “Class Of 3000.” I’d give it a listen if I were you, because there are some really nice tracks.

Plies – The Real Testament

Plies - The Real TestamentHailing from Ft. Myers, Florida, Slip-N-Slide rookie – Plies, has been building a buzz over the past year. After the success of his street single “Chopper Zone”, and the release of his own mixtape “Da Real Nigga Bible”, Plies offers up his debut “The Real Testament”.

1.) The Real Testament (Intro)

Over simple southern production, Plies describes how rap was never his dream, so hustling’s always an option. At just over 2 minutes though, this song lacks any lyrical skill, and replay value. Not the best way to open up the album.

2.) 100 Years

Snitching is the subject here, as Plies tells tales of his lil homies gettin their dreams shattered by “***** ass crackaz”. Production is very simplistic, and not very entertaining. Plies once again proves his lyricism (or lack there of) needs to be polished before stepping in the booth.

3.) I Know U Workin

This song features more bland production, with Plies picking up the subject from the last song and carrying it on to this one. While definatley keeping it street, Plies unfortunatley is sounding the same on every song thus far. The hook lacks, and the only bright spot of the track is Plies charisma.

4.) On My Dick

Slip-N-Slide’s Goldrush produced this song, and did a surprisingly good job. Although Plies details (yet again) the hustle, and need to get money; this track actually works for him. The hook is weak again (“I’m on my dick dogg, i gotta make somethin’ happen”), but compared to the first three songs, this sounds decent.

5.) 1 Mo Time

A very mellow bassline is provided by J.R. Rotem, as Plies goes back and forth with his woman about him getting that last nut in before she leaves him. Generic lyrics and played out subject matter, however, make this song another lackluster effort.

6.) I Am The Club

The first real decent song of the album, this is more of Plies in his element. Over a very bouncing instrumental, and the typical synthesizer, Plies actually provides an entertaining song. This could be used as a single, with Plies debating on what he wants to do at the club, before realizing he is the club.

7.) Runnin My Momma Crazy

Piano laced production is used here, with Plies suprisingly switching up the subject matter, and trying to make a heartfelt song for his mom. However, the same monotonous flow is used, and his hook writing skills are completely terrible. Nice attempt, but will fail to garner any attention.

8.) Shawty feat. T-Pain

The lead single off the album, this crossover attempt features T-Pain crooning a perfected hook over smooth production. Plies actually sounds good here, but T-Pain clearly steals the show, as this song continues to get spins across the country. Good song.

9.) Friday

This is a great song from start to finish. For the first time on the entire album, the production really stands out, with Plies detailing how he lives everyday like it’s Friday, ’cause you never know when you’re going to go. Great song, possibly the best on the album.

10.) Goons Lurkin

Wow. Finally, two good songs back to back. This features slow, thuggish production as Plies take the role of the hitman. Young Jeezy type subject matter is used here, with Plies detailing a car full of goons lurkin at “5 in the mornin”. Good song, and is guarenteed to rattle trunks.

11.) Kept It Too Real

Unfortunatley, the song doesn’t do the previous two justice, as production (sounding like it’s straight from Soundclick) really lacks any punch. Backstabbing friends is the subject here, but Plies suprisingly makes it work. While not the most lyrical, the emotion and delivery make for a good track (even though Plies dropped the word “nigga” a staggering 30 plus times), with production being the only drawback.

12.) You

This song is a complete mess. More of a “snap ya fingers” type of beat is used here, and Plies same monotonous flow is used, making for a lackluster track. Wack punchlines, and even worse production (and hook for that matter) drag this song down. Skip it.

13.) Money Straight

This is more of what I was expecting out of this album. While it’s clear that Plies lacks any lyrical greatness, songs like this show off his charisma in the best way. Much like “I Am The Club”, this track features upbeat production for Plies to get live to. Although the subject matter (“I’m in the mall everyday [cause my money straight!]”) has been done time and time again, Plies puts his own Ft. Myers twist on it, making for a good track.

14.) Hypnotized feat. Akon

Much like “Shawty”, this song features Plies spitting game to another female, this time with another Konvict artist – Akon. Over more uptempo production, Plies lyrics and delivery are completely effortless. Akon does a good job providing another one of his signature hooks, but unfortunatley can’t save this mess of a song.

15.) Murkin Season

Keeping in context with the rest of the album, Plies chooses to close out the album almost the same way he opened it. “Murkin Season” lacks the entertainment of “Chopper Zone”, with Plies explaining its that time of the year to get murked. Decent way to end the album.

This album, although anticipated by a lot of southern heads, is unfortunatley nothing special. Plies flow stays the exact same throughout the whole album, and his lyrics need a drastic improvement. However, on the flip side, this album is built for car systems, song for song. Hopefully Plies will follow up his debut with a better choice of beats, and a little diversity, when it comes to subject matter.

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

UGK – Underground Kingz

UGK - Underground KingzDisc 1

1. Swisha And Dosha

Nice, electric guitar type beat. It doesn’t get annoying, and still maintains a solid base for both Pimp C & Bun B. Pimp C starts it off with a pretty good verse, I mean, he definitely showed some nice emotion, and with Pimp, you’re usually going to get some nice emotion. Bun B carries to meat of the rapping with a very nice verse, completely cementing himself as the lyricist of the group. The chorus is pretty good, as the actual singing isn’t good, but it fits the track so well, that it sounds good. Pimp C lets his crudeness shines, and that’s the Pimp C I know and love. Good.

2. Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You) (Feat Outkast)

Andre starts off with a pretty nice verse, and the ton of the album fits the mood. Juicy J & DJ Paul produce a relaxing, soulful beat, sampling “I Choose You” by Willie Hutch. Pimp C does his usual, fun verse. Bun B pretty much outshines both men, and flows the best over this beat. I sort of didn’t like Big Boi’s verse, to be honest. It seemed like he didn’t really care, and it really ruined the whole tone of thos track. Oh well, it was a good enough track. Good.

3. Chrome Plated Woman

Nice player-type beat, produced by Pimp C. Pimp, having produced this track, knows exactly how to flow over this, and does a great job. Bun’s verse is, of course, really good, but it’s Bun B, and consistency has always been his strong point. Nice chorus, with some organs playing in the background, on top of the beat. Nice stuff. Good.

4. Life Is 2009 (Feat Too Short)

Nice old school beat by Scarface. Pretty much a “Life Is…” remake, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Pimp C is the one who truly makes the most out of this beat. His voice is perfect for these type of tracks. Too Short sounds like it’s a chore to rap, and that’s pretty much a given for current Too Short. Good track. Good.

5. The Game Belongs To Me

This track really didn’t do much for me. I mean, saying “Bobby by the pound and Whitney by the key” is funny, but the beat is standard stuff, and UGK sound bored. Average stuff. Average.

6. Like That (Remix)

I like the beat here. It’s pretty much a party beat mixed with some rapid flavor, but it works. Pimp C tries his hand at some rapid flow, and does a pretty good job here. The chorus is pretty standard, but I dig it, a lot, because it’s just that: simple. They’re not trying to be complicated here, and that’s great, because rap music doesn’t have to be complicated. Bun does a good job, of course, but that’s already known. Good.

7. Gravy-Slower

type beat, and I don’t exactly care for it. These type of tracks sort of bore me, and this is no exception. While UGK try, this whole tone is just unbearably boring. I mean, it’s not horrible, but it’s incredibly unremarkable. Average.

8. Underground Kingz

Nice starting with the piano, then right into the funk-type beat, with horns splashed throughout. They both do a good job, but man, the chorus is just a little too unimaginative. Still, the track is pretty good. Good.

9. Grind Hard (Feat Young T.O.E. & DJ B-Do)

Nice, heavy-style, southern crunk beat. T.O.E. is pretty horrible, actually, and almost manages to ruin the whole track for me. I mean, the name “Young T.O.E.” is bad enough, but he makes things worse with his awful rapping. Pimp C does the best job on this track because his voice suits this perfectly. B-Do is standard stuff. This was two features trying to ruin a decent track, and it almost does that. Average.

10. Take Tha Hood Back (Feat Slim Thug and Middle Fingaz)

Nice, crunk style beat, very hard hitting. I’m just glad the features don’t actually suck, so I don’t have to worry about them ruining the track. Everyone does a really good job, and this, while unlike UGK, is pretty good. I appreciate UGK for doing something different. Good.

11. Quit Hatin’ The South (Feat Charlie Wilson & Willie D)

Oh yeah, Willie D is pretty great and Wilson can sing, so this will be good. Pimp C produces a pretty good, laid back beat, with funk styles and organs. A long singing section, but I dug it. Willie D is pretty much the best thing on this track. I mean, Willie’s always been the most underrated rapper alive, so it’s nice he has a feature on this album. Good track. Good.

12. Heaven

I liked this, and it’s a nice slice of different compared to the other tracks. Pimp C produces a nice slow-paced, funky track. Pimp C, of course, raps perfectly over this type of track. Bun B does a pretty great job, too. Good track. Good.

13. Trill Niggas Don’t Die (Feat Z-Ro)

Good, funky type track, mixed with some horns and a nice bassline. Pimp C does a great job, Z-Ro does a good job, even though he trips over his words a few times. Bun B does pretty good job, of course. Good track, and a nice way to end disc 1. Good.

Disc 2.

1. How Long Can It Last (Feat Charlie Wilson)

Very nice funky-type track, mixed with some soul samples. Whoa, Pimp C is trying his hand at a different production style, and I dig it. Pimp C does a good job flowing. Wilson has always been a good hook guy, so he delivers the goods in that department. Bun B is pretty great here, but when is he ever NOT great? Good.

2. Still Ridin’ Dirty (Feat Scarface)

Scarface produces a nice beat, sort of bouncy but mixed with some funk and a nice dark piano. Everyone does a good job, and I’m really digging the variety displayed on this album. UGK isn’t afraid to try different styles, and it works.

3. Stop-N-Go (Feat Jazze Pha)

Stop-N-Go? Isn’t that a gas station? Jazze Pha produces a beat that doesn’t sound like what he’s used to producing. Whoa, I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you! This is like a bad Scott Storch track, though, and it makes the track an annoying batch of noise. Bad track, just bad. Wack.

4. Cocaine (Feat Rick Ross)

Really slow-type track, and it’s pretty smooth sounding. I mean, you have to be in a certain mood to listen to this, but it’s still good. The chorus is simple, but I like the singing. Good rapping, too. Good.

5. Two Type Of *****es (Dizzee Rascal & Pimpin’ Ken)

Whoa, Dizzee Rascal? I mean, I’m not a Rascal fan, but this is quite the random guest. Funky type track, and it’s pretty much standard UGK machismo. Dizzee really tries to not sound like the odd man out, and he does a pretty good job of doing that. What’s next, a guest appearance from El-P?

6. Real Women (Feat Talib Kweli & Raheem DeVaughn)

The randomness continues, as Kweli guest stars on this track. The beat is pretty funky, sampling “You Can’t Hide Love” by Skip Scarborough. Kweli is so out-of-place here, but he actually does a good job, and doesn’t sound uninspired like his usual guest appearances. Good track. Good.

7. Candy

Pretty good beat by Scarface. I can’t really describe it, it sort of has an Eastcoast, reflective feel to it, sampling “Bridge Thru Time” by Lonnie Liston Smith. Bun does a great job here, as these type of beats were made for him. Good stuff. Good.

8. Tell Me How Ya Feel

Jazze Pha tries to mix his style, LiL Jon’s style, and Scott Storch’s style, which is odd, because Storch produces like a low-rent LiL Jon nowadays. Pretty much a standard, UGK track. Well, standard for this album, which isn’t a bad thing. Good.

9. Shattered Dreams

Funky type track by Pimp C, and I dig it. I mean, there’s really nothing that distinguishes it from other funky type tracks on this album, but it’s still good. Good.

10. Like That

Oh man, LiL Jon produces a really bad track. Like, really, really bad; it’s very sloppy, and in turn, makes UGK rap horribly. I’ve never been annoyed by Pimp C, and I was annoyed. This was horrible. Train Wreck.

11. Next Up (Feat Big Daddy Kane & Kool G Rap)

What odd guest appearances, but I’m definitely not arguing. Hey, even Marley Marl produces the beat, and it’s piano heavy and pretty decent. I mean, I was expecting more, but this track isn’t bad. Big Daddy Kane definitely knows how to vibe with UGK. Kool G Rap sounds out of place, but he does a good job. Good, albeit disappointing track. Good.

12. Living This Life

Nice, slow-paced, organ beat, mixed with some nice bass. Good reflective type track. Good.

13. Outro


14. Bonus Track: Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You) (Feat Three Six Mafia) (Chopped & Screwed)

I can’t stand chopped & screwed, so of course, I couldn’t stand this. I just don’t get the appeal of this mess, because it sounds freakin’ horrendous. Wack.

15. Bonus Track: Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You) (Feat Three Six Mafia)

Same beat as before, but mixed with Three 6 Mafia. I actually liked this one better than the Outkast version. Good.

16. Bonus Track: Hit The Block (Feat T.I.)

Swizz Beats is a pretty horrible producer nowadays. I mean, if there’s one producer who’s inconsistent, it’s Swizz Beats. This beat is horrible sloppy, and makes everyone sound horrible. It sucks that this album had to end on this note. Train Wreck.

All in all, I’m going to give this a “Good” rating. I liked this, and I appreciate UGK for trying some new stuff. My one gripe, was that this album was insanely long, and could’ve been shortened up a little bit. Still, this is recommended.

Ja Rule – Pain Is Love

Ja Rule - Pain Is LoveHate him or love him, Ja Rule’s contributions to the hip-pop game are undeniable. From 1999 to 2003, Ja Rule literally went from a “DMX knockoff” to the king of R&B collaborations. His track record speaks for itself; and up until the overwhelming media backlash in 2003, Rule topped the charts. While his first offering ‘Venni Vetti Vicci’ was aimed at the hardcore audience DMX so quickly took advantage of, Rule returned in 2000 with the more radio friendly “Rule 3:36”. “Pain Is Love” is his third album, and was released in late 2001.

1.) Pain Is Love (Skit)

Ja Rule sets off his third offering talking over a menacing instrumental while police sirens can be heard in the background, but can later be heard singing in the background. Not the best way to open up the album.

2.) Dial M For Murder

Over slow and thuggish production, Ja spits what one would call his life story. While the lyrics are subpar and the hook features more whining from Rule, Ja’s delivery and the production make for a listenable track.

3.) Livin It Up feat. Case

Chances are if you were a hip hop fan in 2001; you’ve probably heard this song at least 50 times. This pop fueled collaboration with Case features a classic Stevie Wonder rendition. Rule croons the hook (with the now-too-typical tale of sex, drugs, and rock n roll), and offers a suprisingly good single that had everyone vibing. Good song.

4.) The Inc. feat. Cadillac Tah, Black Child, Ashanti

Over another pounding instrumental, Ja and the Murderers (Black Child, Cadillac Tah) show a glimpse of Rule’s street side. Great, great beat; and even Ashanti finds her way on to the end of the song, giving it some extra flavor. Great song.

5.) Always On Time feat. Ashanti

This song is the perfect example of the gift (and curse) that Ja had; and that’s making sing song collabo’s for the radio. While it got him to the top; this song is nothing more then a “I love my lady” type of songs. Decent song at best; but definatley not a banger.

6.) Down Ass ***** feat. Charli Baltimore

“Every thug needs a ladyyyyy!!” just about sums this track up. After the mediocre performance Rule served up with “Always On Time”, Ja returns with this God awful mess of a song. Featuring Charli Baltimore, this features Rule singing to his women, once again. Although heralded as his calling card, he’s clearly capable of much more. Skip it.

7.) Never Again

Just when a listener of this album thought it couldn’t get any worse, it does just that. This is yet another song with Rule performing/whining the hook with an off key pitch. Rule’s apologized to enough women, and simply didn’t need to do it again on this track. Skip it.

8.) Worldwide Gangstas feat. The Murderers

This should be more of what’s expected from a good Ja Rule album. Over thorough New York production, the entire Murder Inc. roster spits flames over this street banger; with Ja rapping the final (and best verse) on the song. Great track.

9.) Leo (Skit)

After the last song, I think it’s safe to say everyone expected more. Now, while most skits are overlooked on albums, there are a few that actually contribute to the album. This is definatley not one of them. Rule’s “Miss Cleo” imitation is neither necessary, nor funny. Skip it.

10.) I’m Real (Murda Mix) feat. Jennifer Lopez

Quite possibly Rule’s biggest hit to date, this track (featuring Jennifer Lopez) samples Rick James’ classic “Mary Jane”, and actually very cleverly makes for a great hip-pop track. If you can get passed the fact that Ja’s main priority is clearly geared towards a female teenage audience, this song might actually work for you. Decent song for what it is; and that’s a sing-a-long for little girls everywhere.

11.) Smokin & Ridin feat. 0-1, Jodie Mack

Over very soothing West Coast production, Rule gives his listeners quite possibly the best track on the album. This song, while simple, works perfectly; and is clearly the way Rule should perform his hooks. Great track in every aspect, with Jodie and 0-1 playing a great supporting act.

12.) X feat. Missy Elliot, Tweet

Ja Rule loves extacy. If you’re not familiar with this accusation, just listen to any song that he has ever had on the radio, and you’ll see what I mean. While his last dedication to E (“Extacy” from “Rule 3:36”) featured great production featuring Jayo Felony, this followup is a major letdown. It’s almost like Ja doesn’t know how to properly work this slowed down instrumental. Tweet is the only upside to this track, and that’s definatley not saying much.

13.) Big Remo (Skit)

Bernie Mac shows up to talk for half a minute. Not worth the extra song slot at all. Skip it.

14.) Lost Little Girl

Looking at the title, you’d expect a Tupac inspired track, in the veins of “Baby Don’t Cry” or “Brenda’s Got A Baby”. This song, however, features Rule’s failed attempt at singing another below average chorus over a club beat; making the subject matter almost forgettable. Terrible attempt at a song with substance. Skip it it all costs.

15.) So Much Pain feat. 2Pac

This track recieved a lot of criticism. While in recent years it’s obvious Ja Rule was heavily influenced by Tupac Shakur, this was his earliest attempt at a collaboration with the deceased hip hop legend. Featuring the same beat as the original “Pain”, Ja ‘pays tribute’ to ‘Pac by twisting his first verse and re-rapping it himself. However, the remastered beat, and the addition of 2Pac at the end of the track, make for a suprisingly good track that has easily stood the test of time.

16.) Pain Is Love

Looking at the lyrics on paper, this song seems to be a deep song that Ja has put together. But as Rule has proved throughout the CD, his ability to deliver these songs are almost laughable. Over another bubblegum production, Ja’s singing and constant whining make for an underachieving track. Bad way to close out the album.

Bottom line, this album is a roller coaster ride through and through. The balance of songs is almost non existant, with the majority of the tracks catering to a very different audience Rule gained with “Venni Vetti Vicci”. And while this album did manage to go triple platinum (thanks to the countless number of pop singles), perhaps it was oversaturation like this that led to the bashing of Rule by the media not even a year later.

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Ja Rule – Rule 3:36

Ja Rule - Rule 3:36After his breakthrough hit “Holla Holla” the previous year, Ja Rule returned the following year with his critically acclaimed sophomore effort “Rule 3:36.” Stepping out of DMX’s shadow, Ja set his own mark with a number of radio friendly hits, while still incorporating the gangsta image that made him famous in the first place.

1.) Intro

Nothing more then that – an intro. This features Ja singing about wanting to kill himself, to relieve his pain. Not believable in the least, considering he’s making millions of dollars.

2.) Watching Me

This is the proper way to start the album. Over a pounding guitar fueled instrumental, Ja’s aggressive lyrics and demeanor make for a good track. And although the hook is mediocre at best, Ja’s delivery saves this one. Good song.

3.) Between Me & You feat. Christina Milian

Featuring a then unknown Christina Milian, this is Ja’s first real attempt at catering to the ladies, on the album. The song managed to cross over, and help the album sell millions, but the song itself lacks. Milian’s simple and repetitive chorus, and Ja’s constant yelling make for a lackluster track.

4.) Put It On Me feat. Vita

This song (the 2nd hit from the album) was a much better choice for a single. Ja’s now famous “What would I be without you?!”, and harmonizing hook works perfectly, with Vita offering up a very worthy guest spot. This is a song for the ladies through and through, and nobody does it better then Ja.

5.) 6 Feet Underground

Clearly one of the best tracks on the album, Ja returns to the street, after the last two songs, over this pounding instrumental. Detailing how his enemies want to see him ‘6 feet underground’, this track features a clever sample, and a flawless hook. Great track in every aspect.

6.) Love Me, Hate Me

More of a mellow track, this features Ja performing his own chorus, with subject matter very similar to that of the late Tupac Shakur. Production is very simple and Ja’s lyrical skill suffers a bit here, but his hook writing ability shines once again making for a slightly above average track.

7.) Die feat. Tah Murdah, Black Child, Dave Bing

Murder Inc.’s lesser known member show up for this remake of last year’s underground hit – “It’s Murda.” While Tah and Black Child’s verses are nothing special, Ja’s hook (“Everybody gonna die, but nobody want dead…It’s your lifeeeee!!!!!”) and verse alone make for a worthy track. Great, great track in every aspect, with Ja standing out more and more as a solo artist.

8.) ***** You feat. 0-1, Vita

After the last track’s near perfection, this song is a complete dissapointment. Very bland perfection, and Ja’s unessescary singing, followed by Vita’s lackluster hook, make for an underachieving track. Skip it.

9.) I’ll ***** U Girl (Skit)

This “skit” features Bernie Mac, and Ja Rule singing over what sounds like one of Uncle Luke’s booty-and-bass beats. Complete waste of time. Skip it at all costs.

10.) Grey Box (Skit)

A skit followed by a skit. That’s a first. Skip once again.

11.) Extacy feat. Tah Murdah, Black Child, Jayo Felony

Ja’s first (of many) dedications to his favorite drug – E. West Coast artist Jayo Felony makes a surprising cameo, over this bouncing production. Ja’s hook is once again on point, getting the album back on track after the last few songs. ‘The Murderers’ are the only dissapointment, as they once again try to sound too hard over this instrumental. However, this one of the album’s better tracks.

12.) It’s Your Life feat. Shade Sheist

While this Carribean flavored production is on point, and Shade Sheist’s verse flows perfectly; Ja unfortunatley doesn’t come through the way he could have. The hook is just under Ja’s potential, making for an average track at best.

13.) I Cry feat. Lil Mo

Another one of the album’s singles aimed at the ladies, this features Lil Mo. And while most will hate extremely hard, I’m going to go out on a limb, and say this is one of the album’s best tracks. Production is on point, as Ja flows perfectly, while Lil Mo soothes the chorus. Great track, that has stood the test of time.

14.) One Of Us

Although the concept of this song is original, the constant “One of us” in the background becomes a little repetitive. Questioning if God we’re ‘one of us’, Ja flows over this pounding production, with precision. Good track, and will surprise most listeners, who haven’t previously heard this song.

15.) Chris Black (Skit)

Another skit (this time clocking in at an unbelievable 3 minutes) features an incarcerated homie freestyling from the pen. Skip it.

16.) The Rule Won’t Die

At just over 2 minutes (shorter then the skit that preceded it), Ja explains why ‘the rule won’t die’. Production is on point, but Ja takes too long to start the track off, and therefore doesn’t have enough time to properly finish it. A somewhat dissapointing way to the end the album.

In conclusion, Ja’s sophomore album succeeds where his first one didn’t, in the fact that it attained commercial success. However, unlike his “Venni Vetti Vicci”, Ja sheds the thug image most of the time to appeal to his female audience. While it worked on this album, his future albums (“Pain Is Love”, “Last Temptation”) proved it was just a little overdone. So take “Rule 3:36” for what it is, and that is an entertaining album with a few great songs.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Tha Realest & 730 – East 2 West

Tha Realest & 730 - East 2 WestTha Realest has a very strong work ethic. Hundreds of songs exist from his Deathrow period, and he has since backed that claim up, releasing countless more songs throughout the last 4 years. So when it was announced he had agreed to due an entire collaboration with Mob Life Records new signee – 730, for free, many weren’t suprised. Although recorded in 2005, the lack of pre-orders haulted it’s release, leaving many fans anxious and frustrated. Tha Realest, fed up with the situation, decided to show the fans some love and release the album via his website, in July, 2007.


1.) Intro

This is a 20 second skit to start the album off. It features a plane flying across the US, signifying the ‘East 2 West’ collaboration.

2.) Me & 730

Perfect way to really get the album going. Over a very bouncing instrumental, Tha Realest and 730 show great chemistry, trading verses throughout the track. Although the hook is a little corny, the chemistry between the two artists make for a great opening track.

3.) Who *****in’ Wit Us feat. Solja Boy

This beat is hard to describe. A mix between techno, pop, and southern influence apparent. Solja Boy and 730 work the beat well, but Tha Realest’s delivery doesn’t give the beat it’s just due. Decent at best.

4.) My Life Ain’t Easy feat. New Child, Captain Hook

An 80’s synthesizer is used, making for a very mellow beat. All four artists do exceptionally well, while expressing the struggles of their everyday life, over great production.

5.) ***** You

This song was the first song presented to the public back in 2005, when the album was originally recorded. Clocking in at just over 2 minutes; the beat is mediocre, and neither artist spits anything special. Skip it.

6.) I’m A Mutha*****in’ Gangsta feat. Swoop G, G Money, Known

Great, great song from start to finish. Over a mellow West Coast instrumental, Tha Realest’s reunion with former Deathrow labelmate Swoop G is a memorable one. Both artists stand out, and deliver good verses. Definatley recommended.

7.) Party On The Mob feat. G Money, Lil Bo

This song is West Coast certified all the way through. Over what sounds like something Dre is capable of producing, 730, Tha Realest, G Money, and Lil Bo croon the beat perfectly. Very, very West Coast, and one of the best tracks on the album.

8.) Beautiful Day (730 Solo)

730 introduces his single “Beautiful Day”, which boasts a thought provoking piano loop, but fails to garner any real attention. The lyrics are something more aimed towards the club, which ends up dragging the song down.

9.) I Don’t Know

This song is a very conceptual song. Both Tha Realest and 730 work this solumn instrumental, with a clever bass guitar string in the background, perfectly. This is more of an album track, and proof 730 can hold his own.

10.) Me & My Mu*****a’z feat. G Twin

Also released back in 2005, this track features Tha Realest and G Twin trading verses over a beat with a soothing piano. Great track, and remains fresh even 2 years after it’s initial release.

11.) Show Me Luv

This track is very country; and unfortunatley not in a good way. 730 is from New Jersey and while Tha Realest is from Oakcliff, Texas, he sounds somewhat out of place over this beat. If you can get passed the fact the production is underachieving, the delivery from each artist is above average.

12.) Easy To Be A Soldier Pt. II feat. Swoop G

When making a sequal to a classic, make sure you go about it properly. It’s hit or miss (see Snoop Dogg and “Still A G Thang”). “Easy To Be A Soldier” was released back in 1999 and was a harsh diss track directed towards Snoop Dogg and No Limit. This version features the same beat, and is directed towards nobody in particular. Nothing worth attention, and not even Tha Realest can redeem this track. A dissapointment.

13.) U Represent, I Represent feat. Captain Hook 

A very different type of sound is used here, and works great. 730 hops on the track, and absolutely destroys it, and the hook is excellent. Tha Realest’s verse is also on point (although his outro is classic) making for another great track.

14.) This Is My Life feat. Nzingha Shakur

This is more out of what was expected with 730’s solo. This track, from beginning to end, is very, very good. Nzingha Shakur soothes the hook perfectly, and 730 shows emotion on this track well.

15.) I Luv Bein A Nigga (Tha Realest Solo)

On one of the only mellow tracks on the album, Tha Realest pays his homage to Tupac once again (“And all day homie, we love to bang ‘Pac, cause deep inside our hearts, homie, ‘Pac won’t stop”). Great track.

16.) From East 2 West

Over a simple, uptempo track, Tha Realest and 730 finally touch on the cross country collaboration they’ve put together. Both east and west coast love is being shown here, as Tha Realest and 730 trade verses on each side’s prominent features. Great way to end the album.

So, thanks to Tha Realest, this album finally managed to see the light of day, and doesn’t dissapoint. 730’s east coast grittiness blended well with Tha Realest’s southern (but west coast inspired) delivery. While some songs are obvious fillers, and studio scraps, there are some classics (“Party On The Mob”, “My Life Ain’t Easy”) and for free, who can really complain?

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Chamillionaire – Mixtape Messiah 3

Chamillionaire - Mixtape Messiah 3In the wake of his sophomore album (“Ultimate Victory”), Chamillionaire has decided to release the third installment in his popular mixtape series for free.The mixtape boasts 22 tracks, featuring Chamillionaire rapping over a number of new instrumentals, while addressing haters and those doubting him.


1.) Get Ya Burners Out

This opening track is an undeniable banger in every aspect. Over a very dark instrumental, Chamillionaire croons the hook, and even has some choice words for 50 Cent (who has recently quoted in saying that Chamillionaire doesn’t sell records). Great track, featuring Cham aggressively rapping, while calmly performing the hook.

2.) Money Already Made

Speaking of 50 Cent, Chamillionaire cleverly takes his new single “I Get Money” and flips it to “Money Already Made”. While many rappers are finding themselves on remixes of this track (Cassidy, etc.), it’s clear that Chamillionaire pulls it off best. An impecable flow, complimented by Cham’s punchlines (“Earing as bright as the top of a yellow candle/Try to grab that, you get hit with the metal handle”). Great song.

3.) Get On My Level

Once again, Chamillionaire’s ability to take your favorite song, and make it that much better, is painfully obvious. Fabolous’s “Make Me Better” gets the treatment here, as Cham works the beat, telling haters to ‘get on his level.’ Slabs, candy paint, and money are the main theme here, making for another good track, with Cham showcasing his ability to shine.

4.) Living Good

A more uptempo track, Chamillionaire addresses the doubters with a series of punchlines (“Shouldn’t want to hate on me, you could trust you don’t want that/Cause I used to the punch clock, now I just punch cats”), making for another good track. Although the hook is simple, Cham’s delivery once again is as hard as ever.

5.) It’s Just Pain

After the previous track, Cham mellows out and reworks the “Renegade” beat, crafting a deep track; possibly fit for one of his albums. Although the track clocks in at just over two and a half minutes, Chamillionaire’s delivery is once again flawless, making for one of the album’s best songs.

6.) The Call

This “song” features Chamillionaire literally calling God, letting him know all the drama that comes with rap game. It ends with God hanging up on him, and Cham back on the grind.

7.) Nothin But Lies

Kanye West’s new single is the next instrumental to be destroyed by Chamillionaire. Punchlines and clever lines are once again present (“If I lost 10 million, I’d shrivel into a baller”), and the hook is once again written very well, with Cham remixing the song better than the original.

8.) Ima Playa Fasho

My personal favorite on the album (mixtape), this song features Chamillionaire spittin’ over UGK’s “International Players Anthem”. Cham starts off the track paying homage to Outkast’s ‘Southernplayalisticcadillacmuzik”, complete with a very strong hook. His hookwriting skills haven’t faultered at all, with this track being the prime example. Definatley a great track, and proves why Chamillionaire should be mentioned in top 5 in the game (currently).

9.) Roy Woods Jr. (Skit)

Pointless skit (mixape filler) clocking in at a staggering 2 minutes. Skip it.

10.) Failures Not An Option

T.I.’s “Big Shit Poppin” gets the work here, with Chamillionaire cleverly reworking the hook. His flow is once again on point, as he discusses the hustle that got him to the top in the first place. Although the song is fairly short, it is a mixtape track, and should be looked at as just that. Good song.

11.) Got A Lot Of Options

Next up is Trick Daddy’s “Tuck Ya Ice”, and Chamillionaire once again provides another great remake. This track features Cham briefly abandoning his aggressive flow, to croon the beat with his Houston swag. While not the most noticable track on the album, this is a cut above anything released this year. The hook is also performed exceptionally well here.

12.) See It In My Eyes

This track is Houston all the way through. Over sluggish, southern production, Chamillionaire’s punchlines are in top form (“I drop a mixtape and they party like it’s they b-day/They disc jockin, so Ima call ’em DJ’s”). Great track for the southern heads, featuring another great hook, and old school sample blended perfectly with the beat.

13.) Don’t Hurt Em Hammer

A multilayered chorus is provided, as Cham expresses his problems with the rap game. Over a bouncing instrumental, Cham creatively describes his love for hip hop, but how most are trying to exploit and make a quick buck off it. Hip hop in it’s purest form.

14.) Roy Woods Jr. (Skit)

Another skit revolving around this guy wanting his “Hammer’s Greatest Hits” CD. Skip it.

15.) It’s On

Chances are if you’re up to date with hip hop, you’ll recognize this beat. “Wipe Me Down” gets the Chamillionaire treatment (here remade as “It’s On”) and doesn’t dissapoint in the least. If you originally hated this track because of Lil Boosie, you’ll love it now. Chamillionaire’s flow is impecable, and his punchlines are on point. Not dissapointing in the least, with Chamillionaire continuing to prove why he deserves to be mentioned with the best.

16.) You A Dummy

To give Lil Wayne a run for his money is one thing; but outrapping him on his own beat is another. Chamillionaire does just that, and with ease. Detailing how he went from rags to riches, Cham uses this track to shout out everybody he’s cool with, and his sudden rise to the top. Yet another great song, with Chamillionaire’s hook writing skills shining again.

17.) Chamillionaire Speaks

Continuing from the last song, Chamillionaire takes the time to shoutout all the haters that doubted him in the past. Nothing but an interlude, although it’s entertaining.

18.) Mo Scrilla

Young Jeezy’s “Go Getta” is the instrumental provided, and while Cham shines throughout the song; it’s one song that doesn’t stand out. The hook is great, but Lil Wayne’s remake is clearly better. Only listen if you can’t get enough of Chamillionaire’s crooning.

19.) The Crowd Goes Wild

Great track from start to finish. Polishing up David Banner’s “9mm”, Cham cleverly flips the whole concept of the original, and dedicates this one to his recent success, and how everybody wants to or should want to, get a feature from the best rapper in the game – Chamillionaire.

20.) Makes Me Stronger

This instrumental is a tough one. Kanye West’s “Stronger” features an odd choice for a sample, but works it perfectly. Chamillionaire, fortunatley for his audience, does too (if not better). Showing that no one beat is too ‘out there’ for him to use, Cham keeps the hook simple, and gives his listeners something to think about (“If hip hop is dead, then I say…/That I escaped Deathrow like I’m Dre”). Great track, and will suprise most.

21.) Chamillionaire Speaks

Picking up from the last album, Chamillionaire drops some more knowledge, re-assuring critics that Houston’s reign is nowhere close to being over. Good interlude.

22.) Rain feat. Famous

The only song featuring a guest rapper, this track is possibly the only dissapointment on the mixtape. Chamillionaire flawlessy provides the hook, but Famous is nothing special on the mic.

So, before Chamillionaire drops “Ultimate Victory”, he shows his dedication to his fans by dropping this summer gem to keep them content for the next two months. Unfortunately, also, for the state of hip hop, this release is (questionably) the best mixtape release of 2007. Keeping it simple, and staying true to your roots, have catapaulted Chamillionaire into the spotlight; and rightfully so. Hopefully “Ultimate Victory” will live up to the high expectations this mixtape has set.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Petey Pablo – Same Eyez On Me

Petey Pablo - Same Eyez On MeForthepeople Ent. has done it again. With the previous release of Kurupt’s “Against Tha Grain: EP”, the Deathrow catelogue sees another release in the last inmate to record a full album for the label – Petey Pablo. To be honest, however, Petey Pablo isn’t your typical Deathrow artist. He’s not from the West Coast, and actually seemed out of place when first signing to Tha Row in 2005. This is his highly anticipated (but never released) Deathrow debut – “Same Eyez On Me.”


1.) We’re Blown: Great way to set off the album. Proving that he’s capable of riding West Coast beats, Petey gracefully performs the hook (“Puff, puffin that Cali dro, sippin on Patrone/I got my mind made up, and gotdammit we’re blown”), proving that phenomonal lyricism is not needed to make a great track.

2.) Same Eyez On Me: WOW just about sums this track up. The production on this song is flawless. While most listeners we’re probably expecting some sort of remix to 2Pac’s “All Eyez On Me”, this track takes a complete turn to the opposite, as Petey details coming up over this pounding West Coast instrumental. From the hook to the verses, this track is nothing less then classic; and easily the best song on the album.

3.) Everywhere I Go: Petey’s dirty south roots are fully exposed on this track, as he gives the hook that North Carolina drawl. However, the lyrics and delivery Petey offers are just below average, making for a just below average track. Decent at best.

4.) I’m Makin Movez: While most listeners would be turned away after listening to the first 20 seconds of this song, Petey Pablo fully redeems this terrible hook, with superb verses, over this bouncing instrumental. The only downfall to this track, is there is no real substance, and the hook and beat aren’t anything excellent. Average track to say the least.

5.) I’ll Beat Yo Azz feat. Kurupt: After the last two dissapointments, Petey returns with fellow inmate Kurupt to present the world with true Deathrow flavor. Both rappers bring energy to the track, and while the hook is once again underachieving, this song is entertaining to any fan (past or present) of Tha Row.

6.) It Ain’t Fair: Petey Pablo is no stranger to music with substance. From the passionate tracks on his previous albums, he has proved that heartfelt, emotional songs don’t always have to revolve around lyricism, and a hot 16. This is a perfect example. A great slowed down tempo is provided, as Petey states his problem with society today. Good track.

7.) So Crazy feat. 2Pac: Any artist ever signed to Deathrow after Tupac’s passing, is almost guarenteed some sort of remix with him. It’s almost as if it’s stated in Deathrow’s contract. Petey Pablo is no different. However, while some collaborations have worked, this unfortunatley doesn’t. 2Pac’s classic So So Def diss record, has been tampered with and edited unbelievably. While production is on point, this track is somewhat of a dissapointment, considering it was a battle record before a club friendly track.

8.) Push It Away: This song unfortunatley is the first bad song on the album. Everything from the beat to Petey’s singing the hook (not that great), make for a boring and lackluster effort. Skip it.

9.) Too Much feat. Kurupt, Eastwood: While keeping in mind that the production on this track is very simple (with nothing extraordinary about it), Kurupt, Eastwood, and even Petey Pablo display their skill on the mic, making for another good track, and showcasing the talent Deathrow had up until 2005.

10.) Somebody About To Get It: Finally, Petey’s gangsta side is presented on the album. And while, once again, the lyrics aren’t anything exceptional, the beat, simplicity, and overall truth in Petey’s raps make for a good track. The chorus is one of the only drawbacks, as Pablo’s hook writing skills need to be polished before stepping in to the booth.

11.) Set The Record Straight: Along with “Same Eyez On Me”, this song is truly one of the album’s gems. Petey promises to “set the records straight” and does just that, detailing his come up and eventual signing to the now nototrious Deathrow Records. From the lyrics to the suprisingly great hook, this is Petey Pablo at his best.

12.) Simple & Plain: Simple and plain just about describes this song to a tee. The production sounds eerily familiar, and verses lack anything not said in another song. Decent at best, and one of the albums filler tracks.

13.) Holla At Ya Folkz: Midway through the album, it is terribly obvious that Petey’s hooks are a major, major fault. This is another below average song that sounds too rushed, and is really about nothing at all. Skip it.

14.) Let’s Do It: Full Metal Jacket’s “me so horny” sample is used here, as this track is an attempt by Petey at appealing to the ladies. The beat, however, lacks any punch, and isn’t soft enough to appeal to the ladies, making for another below average track. Typical boasts about the player lifestyle offer nothing new to the table.

15.) What Cha Gonna Do?: This is more of Petey’s style. A perfect club anthem, this track features an Arabian inspired flute, with Petey perfectly crooning the looping and pounding beat, with a perfect touch of southern flavor. Great production usually always makes for a great track; and even Petey’s hook manages to get the job done on this song.

16.) That’s Why: After listening to the first 30 seconds of this song, one would think that the track has the potential to be a classic. A pounding instrumental is used, but Petey’s hook is lackluster, and the verses aren’t hitting hard at all. Production is well above average, but unfortunatley Petey doesn’t do the beat justice. Average.

17.) In Your Casket: By now it’s clear that the majority of this album is catered to the players, ballers, and gangsters. However, this song will be a complete suprise to most listeners, as Petey goes into horror-core hip hop, and works this dark production well. An uptempo bassline is used, as Petey provides the perfect energy and delivery, making for one of the best tracks on the album.

18.) In A Minute: It was too good to be true. 17 songs into the album, and while it appears that one Deathrow artist has finally stepped into his own, and not expressed Suge’s personal problems on wax, don’t hold you’re breath. Petey Pablo (of all rappers) decides to diss Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, 50 Cent, Young Buck, and The Game all on one track. Not only that, it’s not even done well. If you’re going to diss an entire label, pull your guns out and come correct. This song features production ripped straight from the Lil Jon formula, and is the worst way to the end the album.

In conclusion, while Petey Pablo surprises most listeners with his unofficial Deathrow debut, it’s still clear as day that no matter how he was marketed, Petey wasn’t going to bring Tha Row back to prominence. However, Petey succeeds at what most Deathrow artists not named Dre, Snoop, or Pac, failed at; and that’s making a well rounded album. While this is probably not the last album to be released by Forthepeople Entertainment from Petey Pablo, let’s hope that if further material surfaces, it’s a little more original then what has been presented.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Lloyd Banks – Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 5

Lloyd Banks - Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 5Mixtapes aren’t usually worth reviewing. However, when you’re arguably rap’s punchline king, and have recieved awards based on the fact mixtapes is part of what you do, compromises can be made. Lloyd Banks second LP (“Rotten Apple”) lacked the commercial success of his debut, but if there’s one thing Banks has proven, it’s that his gritty lyricism and punchlines have remained in tact. This is the last installment of his “Mo Money In The Bank” series, and features countless freestyles over popular instrumentals.

1.) Kill A NY Cop (Intro): Nothing more then an intro, this features the beginning of a New Line movie, followed by countless cops feeling the wrath of the streets.

2.) Almighty U.N.I.T.: Over a smooth bassline, Bank’s catchy hook, and smooth delivery make this track noteworthy. Punchlines still in tact (“Think of a sliced diamond/that’s kind of how I’m shinin”), this is a good opening track for the mixtape.

3.) Showtime (The Game’s Over): To say that exiled G-Unit member The Game has been attacking his former crew, is an understatement. This is Bank’s retaliation track. Clocking in at just over 3 minutes, Banks’ diss features memorable lines (“The hood made him cover up the butterfly/Now Ima make ya cover up the other eye/Cause you ain’t never merked nothin, that’s another lie/Nigga don’t make me hum you a lullaby”), the beat lacks the power of a great diss track. However, most fans will be pleased to see Banks go back at The Game. Good track.

4.) Time To Chill: This beat is very old school, and while Bank’s delivery is great, the hook and actual song is boring. Decent song at best; otherwise skip it.

5.) Eminem Speaks (Interlude): A radio conversation of Eminem biggin’ up Lloyd Banks, and hailing him as the “punchline king”.

6.) Reppin Time: Taking Dipset’s “Reppin Time” beat, Banks tries his flow over a Southern instrumental. Point being, that Banks is flawless on this song. However, the only drawback is that Banks doesn’t usually do southern beats, and his fans might not like the new sound.

7.) NY NY: A very different type of track, Lloyd Banks declares his love for the Rotten Apple over this very solumn and depressing beat. Great track with clever lines reminscent of his old days.

8.) Get Yo Guns: Over a bouncing Dre-inspired beat, Banks’ “Get Yo Guns” is only a minute and a half long, but bangs hard enough to be put on repeat with above average lines (“I grind hard, and shine like Ferrari lights”).

9.) On My Hip: Banks again switches up the flow and remakes Rich Boy’s breakthrough hit “Throw Some D’s”. Banks adapts once again, cleverly remaking the hook, and flowing smoothly over Polow Da Don’s smooth production. The only drawback is Bank’s lazy flow over a more upbeat track.

10.) Mary Jane: This song is only a minute and a half long, and is unfortunately boring, without any memorable punchlines, verses, or hooks. Nothing more then Bank’s half assed dedication to the chronic. Average at best.

11.) Body Erasers Skit: Typical mixtape filler skit…Skip it.

12.) Show Discipline feat. Tony Yayo: This is more of an album track. Great track in every aspect, with Bank’s reworking Cormega’s “American Beauty” bassline, with more uptempo drum kits. Classic lines like “I’m lightning on the tracks, like Tyson on the mat” make for a superb song. Even Yayo holds his own. Don’t skip.

13.) What Y’all Wanna Do: Lloyd Banks comes up short on this one. After the last track, this is a dissapointment. While the beat is on point, Bank’s subject matter (jewelry, TV’s, etc.) is a little played out. Listen only if you need to own everything Bank’s puts his name on.

14.) Ride Slow: A rework of Kanye West’s “Drive Slow”, Bank’s flow is at an all time high. While the theme and concept hasn’t changed (diamonds, fresh fits, and cars), Bank’s lyrics work perfectly (“I’m a trendsetter, sittin on Benz leather/You know the 10 letters – Lloyd Banks, nigga”). Great song.

15.) The Flow: “The Flow” is more of an upbeat track, with Bank’s attacking the beat like he should’ve on “Rotten Apple”. While not packing hte punch of any of the tracks on “Hunger For More”, this short (but inspired) track is hopefully a sign of things to come. Good song.

16.) Black Superman feat. Tony Yayo: This song features G-Unit’s original members explaining while they are no “Captain Save-a-hoe”. The beat is on some West Coast tip, and while Bank’s rides out, Yayo’s voice and energy doesn’t work well with this track. Skip Yayo’s part, and you’re good to go.

17.) Help: Featured on Bank’s “Rotten Apple”, this is the 2nd single (also a video), and was just thrown on the mixtape for promotion and good measure. Check out my review of “Rotten Apple” if you want to know more about this track.

18.) Clipz: These are the songs Bank’s works the best over. A remake of The Clipse’s “Mr. Me Too”, Bank’s smoothly croons the instrumental at just over a minute, with a smooth delivery and a swagger matched by none. Good mixtape track, and more of what I expected from Banks.

19.) Make A Move: Also featured on Bank’s “Rotten Apple”, this track is an upbeat instrumental featuring live drums. Great track, up and down. Check the “Rotten Apple” review for more on this song.

20.) Born & Raised: Lloyd Banks closes out the mixtape on another southern beat. This time it’s Trick Daddy’s “Born & Raised”, and Banks re-does the hook to his favor, because he’s certainly not from the county of Dade. He reworks the song perfectly however, and is a suprise to most listeners as Banks chooses to work southern instrumentals. This song would only work better if it were a little bit longer.

So in conclusion, Banks “Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 5” is a somewhere in between his other releases. While lacking the punch of “Money In The Bank”, but noticabley better then “Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 3”, this is an average release. I, personally, expected more out of hearing “Mo Money In The Bank Pt. 4” at the beginning of 2006. Unfortunatley this is the last chapter, and proves that before Banks drops his 3rd solo effort, that he needs to polish his beat selection and energy.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Huey – Notebook Paper

Huey - Notebook Paper1. Intro/Notebook Paper
Pretty much a standard intro, but Huey tries to make it different by……rambling. Well, that isn’t different, is it? Now we get a party style beat, almost like LiL Jon, but drunk on moonshine. Huey isn’t bad here, as he flows well over the beat. This track is a little weird, in that it’s a mix of party and gangsta. I sort of liked this, and appreciate the effort displayed by Huey. Even though he didn’t have many quotable lines, he still tried his hardest to salvage this ugly beat. Average (Leaning towards good).

2. Bout Dat
Okay, this beat sounds like a bunch of farting and whistles. This style was pretty much perfected by LiL Jon, and was ruined by Scott Storch, who was pumping out these kind of beats in a shameless manner. Huey makes it simple, but simple isn’t always bad. You know, this is a good track to play in a car, I mean, who would play someone like Aesop Rock in their ride? That’s like Bill Gates throwing up gang signs. Okay, I’m getting off track. I actually liked this track, as Huey flowed well over the beat. Good.

3. Aye
Here’s the problem with this cd so far: Every beat sounds the same. This isn’t good, as it makes everything flow together in a sloppy manner. Huey pretty much raps about becoming a rapper, and he isn’t afraid to say he’s awesome. I don’t know if I agree with that, but Huey’s shameless attempt at being gangsta is amusing. Average.

4. Pop, Lock & Drop It
We went from LiL Jon to Three Six Mafia here. The constant “Pop, lock & drop it” from the female is horrible. Absolutely horrible. This is like Juicy J & DJ Paul sniffed glue, and decided to produce. This isn’t good at all. Wack.

5. Closet Full Of Clothes ( Feat Kydd Trell)
Honestly, it’s like the beat never changed. This is pretty much the same freakin’ beat that was on the last track, but with added Scott Storchness. I sort of liked Kydd here, as he understands how to make a feature memorable…sort of. I sort of wish Kydd Trell took over Huey’s spot as lead rapper. This was pretty “meh.” Average.

6. 2 Nite
The beat sounds like something you’d hear from La Bouche. Huey is pretty good at flowing to the beat. He uses a nice rapid tone, but he’s not sloppy at all. He’s more Twista and less random awful rapper on a Young Droop cd. Good enough. Good.

7. Tell Me This (G-5) (Feat Memphitz)
This is like a Young Jeezy track, and I sort of like that. Huey isn’t afraid to copy one’s style, and, in a way, that’s sort of good. I mean, most rappers try to carefully pick and choose who they copy from, but Huey is wide open with it. Good.

8. Money Ova (Featuring Diamond & Yo Gotti)
Diamond is absolutely awful, and trying to rap with 2 decent rappers is stupid. I mean, don’t expose someone who is copying La Chat. Huey’s a Missouri guy, so I dig some of his stuff, and he understands that you have to be polished. Pretty average stuff, actually. Average.

9. My Zone
Corny horns are used, well, it’s sort of like early 90’s sounding. I was expecting a “Saved By The Bell” reference, but no go. Huey tries to salvage this craptastic beat, but he fails. Oh, Huey, why must you try to be motivated? Wack.

10. When I Hustle (Feat Lloyd)
I sort of like this, as the beat is a weird mixture of DJ Quik and a Ne-Yo love ballad. Lloyd is a pretty decent hook guy, much better than a bored Nate Dogg, who is perhaps the most overrated hook guy ever. Huey is pretty decent here, and knows how to flow over a beat like this. This was good. Good.

11. Luv N Ya Life (Asia Cruise)
What exactly was this trying to prove? I mean, Asia is pretty okay on the hook, but the beat is like an old Cash Money dance track mixed with R. Kelly. Huey can’t figure out how to rap over this, so he pretty much copies his style from the previous track. This was…not very good. Wack.

12. Nobody Loves The Hood
Cue the sappy piano, and the R. Kelly wannabe hook guy. This is about the most corn syruppy thing I have heard so far on this album. You know what’s the deal, Huey raps about how hard it is in the hood. Heard it, don’t care. Wack.

13. Glad 2 B Alive (Feat T-Pain)
Not a bad beat, sort of sounds like something you’d hear on an old Hoy Boy$ track, but mixed with some new flavor. Decent enough rapping, and I like the singing, even if it’s sort of all over the place. Good (I appreciate the effort).

14. Pop, Lock & Drop It (Feat Bow Wow & T-Pain)
I liked this much better than the original, in fact, I might say that this might be the best track on the album, as they were shameless in copying something you’d hear on a current E-40 track. Well, the chorus freakin’ sucks, so I take back the best track on the album. Good.


All in all, I’m going to give this an “Average” rating. Huey is definitely a guy who is not bad, but the beats were a dime a dozen. This was like a LiL Jon parody album. You might want to stay away from this, as you’ve probably already heard the same stuff on the radio.