Master P – 99 Ways To Die

Master P - 99 Ways To Die“99 Ways To Die” was not only Master P’s fourth solo effort, but was also released in the golden era of California’s hip hop reign. The Bay Area was also the original home of P’s No Limit Records, as evidenced by 1995’s “99 Ways To Die.” The album was released after the success of P’s “West Coast Bad Boyz” and contains a completely different feel than P’s catelogue when No Limit obtained commercial success in New Orleans.

1.) Intro/17 Reasons: After paying homage to such Bay Area veterans as E-40, Rappin 4 Tay, Too Short, JT The Bigga Figga, and Spice 1 over Earth Wind & Fire’s “Reasons”, P flips the script over a funky loop about an attempted car jack with his brothers – C-Murder and Silkk The Shocker. Good way to open up the album.

2.) Commercial 1: Although the album’s first track was billed as an intro, this second track on the album, is just a commercial about P getting bit while getting head. Pointless skit, skip it.

3.) Dead Presidents: Before Jay-Z’s “Dead Presidents II” was heralded as an East Coast classic, Master P’s ode to currency recieves a West Coast treatment. While P’s rhymes aren’t anything spectacular (“I’m not Dr. Dre, but Richmond, California’s ‘Deathrow'”), funky Bay Area production, combined with P’s delivery make for a good track.

4.) Rollin Thru My Hood feat. Big Ed, King George, Lil Ric, Silkk: Over another bouncing instrumental, Master P describes a day rolling through his hood in Richmond, California. Backed up by later ‘No Limit Soldiers’ – Big Ed and Silkk The Shocker, P recieves a little help from some of his first recruits to the tank – Lil Ric and King George. While everybodies verses are on par, Silkk suprisingly steals the show with a smooth flow over an even smoother beat.

5.) Bullets Gots No Name feat. E-A-Ski, Rally Ral: Production on this song has a definite West Coast vibe, as all three artists do an excellent job at describing how ‘bullets gots no name’, so your best bet is to stay strapped. Great track up and down.

6.) When They Gone: After three previous uptempo songs, Master P dedicates this track to everyone dying in violence. From the average joe on the street to his brother Kevin Miller, P’s delivery and charisma carry this track, making for another great track, and possibly one of the album’s best.

7.) Playa Wit Game feat. King George, Silkk, Simply Dre: This song is one of my personal favorites, as P trades verses with his brother over a very funkdified instrumental, before King George laces the third verse. A great hook by Simply Dre, and even better production carry this song.

8.) Commercial 2: This commercial is entertaining for the simple fact it features Romeo (who was only about 5 years old at the time) asking his dad if he’s ever killed someone before. Otherwise, skip it.

9.) 99 Ways To Die: Easily the best track on the album, this is Master P just kicking rhymes Bay Area style, while detailing the West Coast hustle, and how the streets are indeed ‘survival of the fittest.’ Even though the hook is very simple, it’s Master P’s delivery and ability to make a good track that make this a West Coast classic.

10.) Rev. Do Wrong Commercial: After only one song seperating two skits, this is another dissapointing ‘commercial’ featuring “Rev. Do Wrong” who is preaching in a church about the 99 ways to die in the hood. Skip it.

11.) Hoe Games feat. C-Murder, King George, Silkk: This track is very different. It starts off with Master P portraying a radio host awarding the caller that can properly define a ‘busta.’ The beat is very basic and repetitive, and this song is worth listening to for the simple fact C-Murder makes a rare guest appearence. Otherwise, this is probably the weakest track on the album.

12.) 1-900-Master P: After the dissapointment of the last song, P and younger brother Silkk get funky over this dedication to the ‘late night creep.’ This track is another one of the album’s highlights as P’s flow and subject matter make for a great track. King George adlibs the hook.

13.) When They Gone (Radio): Not much to say about this track, except for the fact that the explicit version is already on the album, and the radio version isn’t that much different. Dissapointing way to close out an otherwise good release from Master P.

While not containing the polished beats and greatness of “Ghetto D”, this album offers fans a glimpse into what Master P was before he was, well – Master P. P’s Bay Area roots shine throughout the CD, and although some would bill this as an underground classic, an overabundance of skits and some weaker tracks end up dragging it down. This is still a good release none the less, and manages to still get respect to this day, being billed as one of P’s better albums.

Overall Rating: 3.7/5

Public Enemy – How do you sell soul…?

Public Enemy - How do you sell soul...?Public Enemy aren’t hip and/or happening and they haven’t been since the zenith of their popularity back when Fear of a Black Planet had everyone wanting to Fight the Power. That hasn’t stopped PE from keeping things moving though, matter of fact since they split from Def Jam they’ve been on a creative roll and released several good-to-great albums along the way. Their new album, How do you sell Soul to a soulless people who sold their Soul?, continues that artistic momentum. Chuck couldn’t give a damn about the popularity contest that is mainstream music and he’ll keeping hitting you over the head with logic and political awareness, doesn’t matter if you like it or not. To quote Mistachuck himself I’m too old to be popular and at my age if I can’t teach, I shouldn’t even open my mouth and begin to speak. And with those words you know what to expect from the album, PE in full effect not minding if you consider them cool in the least, they’ve got more important things to worry about.

If this all sounds boring then you’ve probably never been big on the group to begin with, your loss though cause the album is a definite winner. Chuck’s voice is as commanding as ever and his enthusiasm and commitment really bring the message across. Add to that the retro-production, which is top notch, and it becomes pretty hard to not like this album. Wait a minute, retro-production? Isn’t that just another way to spell ‘dated’? Nope, PE has just come to the point where their history has become so undeniably significant to hip-hop that they can reference it without any shame and that’s exactly what Bomb Squad original Gary G-Wiz does behind the boards. The interludes and samples strongly recall Fear of a Black Planet while the use of live instrumentation takes you back to Muse-sick-N-hour-mess-age (their unheralded classic).

Still the album isn’t without it’s faults as their are a couple of lesser moments, usually with a Flavor Flav tag to them since Flav’s solo spots are for the most part uninspired throwbacks to his shining moments on the records of old. That and the record does bog down a little in the middle. Other than that you’d be hard pressed to find a rap group that’s been in the game for twenty years and counting and still sounds as vibrant as PE does.

So what if they’re considered the Bill Cosby’s of rap and they keep moving along unimpressed by all these new trends and fads that have the kids going nuts? They know that once puberty’s over their catalog will be digested all the same, even if they’re getting slept on today. And you know what, not caring if you’re cool…that’s really cool.

Conclusion: It’s not an album of the year candidate but it’s yet another solid release in a long and storied career which doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. The fact that you also get a bonus DVD with a live concert, several videos and short do*****entaries is just icing on the cake. The bottom line: 7.8/10

Silkk The Shocker – The Shocker

Silkk The Shocker - The ShockerBefore Master P’s No Limit empire blew up in the late 90’s and officially put New Orleans on the map, people seem to forget he spent his early career in the Bay Area (more specifically Richmond, CA). After making a slew of guest appearences on P’s solo albums (and three albums as a member of TRU), the youngest Miller brother, Silkk The Shocker released his debut album in August of ’96. This album features appearences from the entire No Limit roster, and production from Beats By The Pound.

1.) Murder feat. Master P, Big Ed: Over a pounding instrumental, that starts off with a volt of shock, Silkk’s rowdy style comes into play. Master P croons the hook in his signature Ice Cream Man tone, as Big Ed (R.I.P.) provides a noteworthy guest appearence. Murder is obviously the main theme, as Silkk details the many ways he likes to see it done. Good track.

2.) I Ain’t Takin No Shorts feat. Master P: This track has a funky Bay Area feel, and is very reminiscent of TRU’s “Mobbin Thru Da Hood.” Silkk’s lyrics and rowdy offtempo flow actually work the production well, as Master P provides adlibs for his younger brother. Although the hook isn’t anything special, Silkk provides another above average song.

3.) I Represent: One of my personal favorites on the album, this track features Silkk representing for his hometown of the Calliope Projects. Production is g-funk at it’s finest, as Silkk croons the thick southern instrumental with more tales of murder and crime. Great track, and definately one of the best on the album.

4.) The Shocker feat. Master P: This track was featured as the album’s lead single and was followed by a video soon after. The song itself however is a No Limit classic. Silkk even goes as far as to compare his knowledge on the dope game to learning his ABC’s. Master P follows with a subpar verse, but this is clearly Silkk’s song. Good track.

5.) No Limit Party feat. Master P, Mia X: Before Soulja Slim’s “NL Party”, three of the tank’s original members let haters know they’re ‘aint no party like a No Limit party.’ Unfortunately this song is filled with tired chanting and below average verses. You’ve heard the same Master P verse before, as the only highlight is Silkk’s verse (which is surprisingly spit over 2Pac’s “Ambitionz Az A Ridah”), which is still only a portion of this mess of a track.

6.) Free Loaders feat. Mo B. Dick: Over more funkdified loops, No Limit’s resident singer – Mo B. Dick provides a smooth hook, as Silkk lets loose on these free loading hoes. Although lyrics are again a bit simple, Silkk finds a way to make the track enjoyable, and different from the average No Limit formula.

7.) 1 Mornin: This song clocks in at only 1:30, and production is unfortunately the only thing worth listening to. Silkk’s verse is noticabely offbeat, and the hook is terrible. Skip.

8.) How We Mobb feat. Master P: After listening to the first 8 tracks of this album, it’s apparent this album was still geared to the West Coast market. Master P provides the song with more tales of slangin ice cream, over what sounds like a sequel to “Mobbin Thru Da Hood.” Silkk’s verse isn’t anything special, but production and a great hook make for a good song.

9.) It’s On: After more threats, Silkk displays his lyricism with some suprisingly good punchlines (“…I done took more cash from niggas, than gold diggers”), with consistent production to back him up. Good track.

10.) Ain’t Nothing: Although this track features smooth and mellow production, Silkk’s verse and offtempo delivery make this track about hoes a miss. The hook is bland, and it feels like a song that’s been done over and over again. Skip it.

11.) Ghetto Tears feat. Master P: This song features a more instrospective side of Silkk The Shocker. Much like Master P’s “Ghetto Heroes”, Silkk details the bad side of the dope game. Growing up poor obviously had an effect on the Miller brothers, and it’s displayed on this track, with Silkk questioning how children are mistreated and abused. Production is equally as fitting, making for one of the album’s deeper songs.

12.) Mr. feat. Master P: Silkk debuts his alias (an alias he used in his later years on No Limit) over this hard hitting track. Call him what the ***** you want, just make sure “Mr.’s” in front. Good track.

13.) It’s Time To Ride feat. Master P: Production is really a factor in the making of this song. Silkk’s generic-as-ever hook, combined with Master P’s recycled themes end up dragging it down in the long run, but it’s more evident than ever that KLC and Beats By The Pound’s smooth production carry this lackluster effort.

14.) If My 9 Could Talk: Much like “Murder” or “It’s On”, this track contains more of a hardcore theme, which surprisingly works very well for Silkk. Considering his lyricism wasn’t anything exceptional to begin with, this track showcases more of Silkk’s delivery; which is what makes the song as good as it is. The beat occasionally drops, adding to the anticipation of the next verse. Good song.

15.) Commercial One feat. Skull Duggery: Although billed as a commercial, this song is in no way a skit. Master P sets off the minute long teaser by introducing one of the newest soldiers signed to the tank – Skull Duggery. Over dark production, courtesy of Beats By The Pound, Skull shows love to his hoodlums across New Orleans. A longer runtime is the only thing that could’ve made this track better.

16.) Got Em Fiending feat. Master P, Big Ed: This song starts off with a sing-a-long chorus provided by Master P, and quickly turns into what sounds like house music. While the hook lacks, Silkk’s verse is on par and actually suits the beat well. Big Ed is also featured on this track and provides his signature ‘assassin’ sound, and Bay Area style. Decent song.

17.) My Car feat. Mo B. Dick, Pure Passion: Mo B. Dick makes another appearence on the album over this relaxing beat. While Silkk obviously remains the premier artist, it’s Mo B. Dick’s smooth melodies (backed up by Pure Passion) that makes this track worth listening to. Although the theme is different, it works the track well, making for another above average effort.

18.) Ghetto 211 feat. Master P: While it seems this album has it’s weak moments, Silkk continuously turns out unapologetic gangsta music. Over another funk driven sample, Silkk’s slightly offbeat flow croon the production well, while Master P provides another generic hook. It’s almost guarenteed that you’ve heard these rhymes on his previous efforts (especially considering his album, “The Ice Cream Man”, dropped in April of the same year). Average song at best.

19.) Why My Homie feat. C-Murder, Master P: After an entire album without a TRU feature, the three Miller boys finally show up for one of their first dedications to the deceased. Undoubtedly the best song on the album, this track features smooth jazz melodies, TRU delivers three exceptional verses dedicated to their brother – Kevin Miller. While Silkk and Master P provide noteworthy appearences, C-Murder clearly steals the show with his polished flow and delivery. Great way to end the album.

So, in conclusion, it isn’t Silkk’s skill as an MC that make this album worth listening to, but rather his ability to make good songs over even better production. After relocating to New Orleans in 1997 to further expand his No Limit empire, Master P manages to churn out No Limit’s last great Bay Area release in the form of Silkk The Shocker’s debut album. Unfortunately this release remains overlooked in not only No Limit’s catelogue, but Silkk’s catelogue as well, when it’s actually one of the better releases the tank had to offer.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Necro – Death Rap

Necro - Death RapRonny Braunstein has come a long way since launching his own label late last millenium and releasing his debut album I Need Drugs on it. The lo-fi recording was a highly promising debut which garnered him a dedicated fanbase from jump and since then that promise seems to have come to fruition. From 2004 till 2005 Mr. Braunstein even went Master P on us by dropping solo albums by Ill Bill, Mr. Hyde, Goretex, Sabac and two of his own for good measure, his personal masterpiece The Pre-Fix for Death and the sleazy ode to pornography that was The Sexorcist.

Now Death Rap is upon us, Necro’s first album in over two years and the first Psycho+Logical release to be distributed by Koch records and Abstract records. In a lot of ways this is the most professional looking album in Necro’s catalog yet. Apart from the Death Metalesque artwork the album booklet also features all the lyrics to the songs, the credits and a seemingly endless barrage of thank you’s (by Necro’s standards anyway). Where the general tone used to be buy P+L product or DIE ! Necro now chooses to express both his gratitude for all the years of support and the love he has for all his fans. It’s a minor observation but it indicates the Sexorcist’s ambition to rise above his current cult status and attempt to reach out to a bigger audience, in that regard even Necro’s posing for the picture in the booklet seems deliberate. It’s just too bad that the actual album doesn’t share the same characeristics.

First things first : Death Rap is a very solid record, period.
The best songs on the record all share a common eighties horror movie feel thanks to the eerie ominous keys and/or effective sampling, two things which have become Necro trademarks over the years. It helps Death Rap get off to a very promising start in the form of the Charles Manson storytelling track that is Creepy Crawl and also lifts tracks likeKeep On Driving (which succesfully samples the movie Daddy’s Deadly Darling), Exploitation (featuring a barnburning verse by Mr. Hyde that manages to instantly create anticipation for his next solo release), the Ill Bill assisted As Deadly As Can Be and closing track Portrait of a Death Rapper above the rest and will guarantee themselves a place on any Necro fan’s ipod.

Also evident throughout Death Rap is Necro’s growth as an emcee. His flow has become more self-assured, especially compared to the I Need Drugs days, he has become a master of cadance and multi-syllabic rhyming and in a lot of ways the album is a showcase for those qualities. The only problem is that sometimes this also causes him to fall head first into abstract backpacker territory (‘artistically, sadictically, statistically, realistically, pistol whip thee’ on the hardcore influenced Suffocated To Death By God’s Shadow or ‘sanguinary, biochemistry, chemotherapy, chemical treatment, criminal cemetary, symmatry’ from the aformentioned Exploitation). His mastery of flow also dominates the hardcore track Suffocated where he keeps pace with the breakneck rhythm laid down by Mike Smith and Steve DiGiorgio. As a showing of his skills as an emcee it’s very impressive but on it’s own the track doesn’t really work and ends up being less than the sum of it’s parts, with such a star studded supporting cast you’d expect more, the musicianship is there and Necro pulls it all together on the third verse but the first two verses come of as a course in emceeing 101. The Harley Flanagan collaboration Belligerent Gangsters doesn’t fare any better as Flanagan delivers an underwhelming performance on the hook. Which leads to one of Death Rap’s biggest problems : the overall lack of decent choruses. There are virtually no hooks worth mentioning, which in itsself wouldn’t be too much of an issue if it weren’t for the fact that very few of the songs contain more than two verses or come close to the three minute mark. It gives the album somewhat of a glorified mixtape feel, which is enhanced by Necro’s non-stop barrage of freestyle rhyming as there are virtually no storytelling tracks like Dead Body Disposal or songs that come from the artists personal experience such as Reflection of Children Coming Up In The Grave. There are some hooks on the Metal inspired joints but to be honest they tend to fall more into Spinal Tap territory than anything else, especially Evil Rules which leads the images of Dave Ellefson getting stuck in his pod should they ever take this song out on the road.

The short running time of the album, a mere 37 minutes total, along with it’s pseudo-mixtape aesthetic are in stark contrast to the album’s packaging. Maybe a couple of more verses here or there wouldn’t have hurt, neither would some more efficient hooks but as it stands…

Conslusion : Death Rap is sure to please the Necro diehards and will no doubt find it’s place in their record collection. At the same time it’s hard to recommend this album to folks who are new to the Sexorcist’s brand of musical mayhem as they might be better off checking out Gory Days or the Pre-Fix instead. Still if you’re saving up your milkmoney to buy the new Ja Rule record I’d suggest you take a chance on Death Rap regardless, it’s not a bad album at all it just could’ve been so much more.


Tha Realest – Tha Death Row Dayz

Tha Realest - Tha Death Row DayzOk so I first now got my CD that I was waiting a long time for and when I got it, the CD cover was kind of low budget and I was like, man I paid $30 for this??? But anyway ***** all that, I popped the first CD in the CD Player and I was like daaaaaamn this shit is off the hook!!

CD 1:

1: Intro / Big Game Hunter

A dope ass intro with the sample of the Nightmare on Elm Street theme along with samples from Chronic 2000 and also samples of Tha Realest and other people talking about him, real good introduction to the CD. After that Big Game Hunter starts and this song is just a classic, the flow and beat is hella dope and it really brings back the Death Row feeling from the mid 90’s.

2: High Powered

This song is cool, the beat is kind of simple, but it goes. The track is only 1 min and 39 sec so it’s basically a album filler but it’s a good one.

3: U Can Count on Me

This track is real good, nice west coast vibe with real good lyrics about real homies who you can count on at all times. The track is hella laid back, so if you like to smoke, you just gonna want to light up a blunt to this one.

4: Syde 2 Syde ft. El Dorado

This track is another classic with a laid back west coast beat. Tha Realest talks about back stabbing homies and the life on the streets and he also throws shots at Eminem. El Dorado does a good job on the track too.

5: Drunk Drivin’ In My Glass House ft. Crooked I & Swoop G

Most Realest fans allready heard this track, but now it’s in full CD quality and the track slaps even more then before. Tha Realest, Swoop G & Crooked I do a real good job on this track. The track is just a classic.

6: I Wonder Does God Care? (OG)

This track is real good, the beat is dope Tha Realest is just speaking his mind about the way the world is in his point of view. His Verses are on point and the track goes hard.

7: Summer Time Fling (OG)

Well this track it says OG on the CD cover, but honestly I heard the OG track of this way back and it does not sound anything like this one, but don’t get me wrong, this one is good too. The OG beat on the leaked one is better though. The track is real good for cruisin around in the summer time or just kickin’ it with a fine lookin gurl.

8: Ghetto Prisonerz

The beat on this track is dope, has been used before on a 2pac track, I forget wich one right now…. Tha Realest’s flow is cool on this one too. He’s talking about the street life, snitches and his mission to find freedom. The featured artists on this track did a good job too. Defenitly a good track.

9: Can’t ***** With Us

This track is ok, the beat ain’t nothin special though. Tha Realest’s flow is ok too, he spits some real shit, but his flow get’s off beat a lil bit. This song is more of a album filler. You might like it or you might want to skip it.

10: For Money I Will

This track is just a classic in my oppinion. The beat is another laid back west coast beat and Tha Realest’s flow is real tight on this one too. He’s talking about the hustle and what people can do for money. It’s not a money track like people do now dayz, this track has a real meaning to it.

11: Incase I don’t wake up

Another track that most people probably allready heard before, but not in this quality that’s fo sho. This track is a classic nuff said!! 1 of the best tracks Tha Realest has ever done.

12: I Know I’ll Die Soon ft. Nutt-So

Now I thought this CD was only from Tha Realest’s Death Row Days, but nope apparently not. This song was made after his DR Days, but that don’t matter because the track is on the CD anyway. The beat is more of a East Coast Beat and Tha Realest does a real good job on his verse. Nutt-So is ok on his verse and the hook is all right. If the song was mixed properly the track probably would have been better, but because of the poor mixing the track is just another album filler.

13: 99 Bonnie & Clyde ft. VK

This track slaps. The beat is cool and everybody does a good job on the track. It’s more of a track where they showin off they skills on the mic.

14: Hustlin’ ft. San Quinn & Jewell

This right here is a good track to end the first CD with. It’s laid back, but still with a lil faster tempo. Everybody does a good job on the track, and the Jewell gives that sound of perfection on the track. Defenitly a classic.

CD 2:

1: Can’t Mobb Deep

A perfect way to start off the beginning of CD 2. A dope diss track where Tha Realest goes after Mobb Deep, No Limit, Bad Boy and everybody else he had beef with. The track could’ve had better sound quality, but I ain’t trippin on that because it’s good enough and the track is just a classic!

2: Kiss All Night ft. Doobie

A track for the ladies with a nice laid back beat. It has more of a East Coast feeling to it and Tha Realest and Doobie do they thing and it’s cool, but to me the track is just another album filler. I could skip it.

3: Just My Type ft. Sheeba Black & Blaqthoven

Another track for the ladies, but again it’s another album filler. The beat is nothing special, the flow is good, but that’s enough to save the track. The hook is good too, but it still ain’t enough to keep me listening to the track.

4: Played Yourself

yeeeeeah now after 2 album fillers comes a real tight track! The beat is real dope and has a lil bit of that Ruff Ryders feeling to it and the featured artist does his thing too. The only thing that brings the track down is the end of the track, there’s space for at least another verse and probably a hook, but instead all you hear is the beat.

5: M.O.B. ft. CPO Boss Hogg

Another dope track and this one goes real hard. The beat slaps, Tha Realest comes correct on his verse as well as CPO Boss Hogg. It’s DEATH ROW!!!

6: God Bless Your Thugged Out Soul

This track is cool, a nice layed back beat and the track sounds like it was probably done back in the late 90’s. The Verses are good and Tha Realest comes correct and spits some more of that reality shit. The only thing that brings this track down is the sound quality and also the mixing of the track. The track is good, but could be a lot better.

7: It’s better This Way

This track is ok…. Just another album filler in my ears, but hey, somebody else might like it. It’s a track for the ladies, but it’s not a hit.
I don’t know what else to say about it lol…

8: Ride For Me

Finally another classic track! A real good track for the females, where Tha Realest talks about having a girl who will ride for him. The hook is real good and has a female singing. This is what was needed after a few album fillers, a classic!!

9: Waitin’ for Jesus to Come part 2

A nice slow song about homies who passed on and trying to find hope in the streets. Another classic about some real issues that we all have to deal with.

10: We’re Untouchable ft. Amp Pacino

This track is a cool song about a relationship with a down girl who’s down to ride. The verses are real good and the beat is the type of beat you just wanna light up a blunt anc chill out too. A classic track.

11: Would You Be My Girlfriend

The name says it, another track for the ladies… The beat is cool, the verses are on point, but once again the quality was not the best.
The song is good though and that makes it worth listening too…

12. All Night Long ft. Jewell

And once again we have another track for the ladies, but this one is also a track that would be cool at the club. It has a cool clubbish beat to it and Tha Realest and Jewell are just made for doing tracks with eachother!

13: We Won’t Die (ft. Nutt-So)

The beat is simple, the flow’s are all right, but nothing special. I could skip this one, this is mix tape quality, not album quality…. It’s too bad that both songs with Nutt-So had to be this way, because they’re both artists who are capable of making a classic together.

14: Way 2 Real ft. Daz Dillinger

A great way to end the album… Tha Realest and Daz do a good job together, can’t complain at all. The beat is simple and has a closure feeling to it, so when you finsihed with this song you will feel that the CD has come to an end.

Ok, so I paid 30 bucks for this CD and when I got it and saw the artwork for the cover I was a lil bit dissapointed and there was no booklet with track info or anything inside it. When I heard the CD I kind of got over that part though because the CD is good. It has a few flaws but every CD has it’s flaws. Thanks to the classic material this CD slaps and is worth listening to, and I’m defenitly gonna be listening to this CD alot. The album fillers and the poor quality on some of the songs are what bring the CD down a lil bit and because of those tracks it can’t get a 5 star rating….. I give it 4 stars out of 5. Is it worth paying 30 bucks for?? well honestly NO because of the low budget front cover and it not having a booklet or even a back track list inlay. For 30 bucks I would expect to get more and better quality on some of the songs. I don’t regret buying it though because the CD is still unleaked and it does have classic songs in there that are worth the money, but honestly I just gotta say something to FTP: Y’ALL BETTER LOWER YOUR PRICES ON YOUR SHIT OR PUT SOME MORE MONEY INTO MAKING THE CD CASES LOOK PROFESSIONAL BECAUSE I GOT HOMIES WHO RELEASE INDEPENDENT CD’S AND THEY PUT REAL MONEY INTO PRESSING THEM UP WITH REAL BOOKLETS, REAL PRESSED CD’S AND THEY ONLY SELL THEM FOR 10 OR 15 BUCKS AND THEY GOT JUST AS BIG AND EVEN BIGGER NAMES THEN WHAT THA REALEST HAS!

Jay-Z – American Gangster

Jay-Z - American GangsterShawn Carter has done it again. After a mediocre and not-so-well recieved comeback album only a year earlier, Jay has returned with an album he says was inspired by the release of the film “American Gangster”, a film based on the life of notorious 70’s heroin kingpin – Frank Lucas. The album is described as Jay’s return to his hustling lure, and features production from the Neptunes, Diddy, and Jermaine Dupri among others, as well as guest spots from Nas, Beanie Sigel, and suprisingly Lil Wayne.

1.) Intro

The album starts off with an exerpt from the film of the same name, followed by the true definition of a “gangster” over epic production. Although Jay doesn’t bless the mic on this one, it sets the album up properly.

2.) Pray

This song starts off with a somber prayer, as a pounding instrumental can be heard building up in the background. From there Jay takes the oppurtunity to produce one of his best tracks in years. Jay’s hunger can be heard in the emotion of his vocals (“Hey young world, wanna hear a story?/Close your eyes, and you can pretend your me”). Fans of the ‘Blueprint’ and Jay’s best work will certainly enjoy this track. Perfect way to open up the album.

3.) American Dreamin’

Before the album’s release Jay mentioned a track featuring Marvin Gaye samples, and after hearing this track, it’s obvious this was the track he reffered to. Production is top notch on this track, as Marvin’s mellow chorus and Jay’s whisper-esque flow blend perfectly with the instrumental. Although not better than the previous track, this is clearly another one of the album’s highlights.

4.) Hello Brooklyn 2.0 feat. Lil Wayne

This is obviously one collaboration that most fans would’ve doubted would ever happen. After seemingly taking shots at each other for almost a year, President Carter called on rap’s hottest prospect (Lil Wayne) to bless a track dedicated to the home of Jay. Unlike “Renegade” or “Black Republicans”, this is more or less Jay and Wayne going back and forth giving props to Brooklyn, NY. Although production is shaky at times, and the repetitive screaming in the background can get annoying, this song has still surpassed the standards rap has set for today’s era. Decent song.

5.) No Hook

“I’m more of Frank Lucas than Ludacris” just about sums this track up. Over a very soulful sample, complete with a bass guitar built for this track, Jay takes it back to his hustling days. This song is very reminiscent of the 70’s era, as Jay dismisses the need for a hook as he takes you back to his time of hustlin caine in the Marcy Projects, while also sending a warning to any rapper trying to dethrone the King. Great track.

6.) Roc Boys (And The Winner Is…)

Unlike ‘Kingdom Come’, this song (and most likely the album’s 2nd single) features Jay serving up a more polished flow, while at the same time declaring the rightful return of Rocafella Records. Diddy’s “feel good” production, combined with Jay’s apparent new found excitement for the game, make for another good track.

7.) Sweet

One of the reasons this album has managed to feel so live and fresh, is Jay’s decision to have a more live feeling by adding a live band. While production is very strong, the only fault of this track is that it does sound like Jay freestyled his entire verse. This combined with a hook less-than-great hook make for a mediocre song.

8.) I Know

Any fan of Jay-Z knows that some of his biggest commercial songs have come courtesy of The Neptunes. This track is no different, as Pharrell croons the hook in the smoothest manner possible, with Jay flowing perfectly over the Neptunes soothing production. This is one of the tracks on the album with a different feel, and easily outdoes any track on Jay’s previous album.

9.) Party Life

Production is very mellowed out, as Jay gets punchline happy, with smooth singing in the background. While detailing how he’s so ‘off the wall’ he might as well be a young Michael Jackson, Jay calms down for this track; which proves to be a good breaking point in the album. Good song.

10.) Ignorant Shit feat. Beanie Sigel

The return of two of the Roc’s premier members over a soulful sample (also used for Jim Jones’ “Summer In Miami”) sounds like a perfect combination…and ends up being just that. After addressing those doubting his thought provoking songs, Jay sarcastically gives the people “the ignorant shit you like”, by taking jabs at how simple and self absorbed hip hop has come to be.

11.) Say Hello

Taking a page from Scarface, this is Jay over more mellow production. Unfortunately, he seems a little lazy not only with the hook, but with his verses as well. Production is the highlight of this track, as Jay tries explain how he is no “ordinary nigga” even before he was known as Jigga, but ultimatley fails in making this song the classic it had the potential to be.

12.) Success feat. Nas

After their critically acclaimed collaboration “Black Republicans” on Nas’s ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’ last year, The God MC & Nastradamus return for “Success”. Over a pounding organ influenced production, Jay sets off the track with a strong display of lyricism (“I used to give a *****, now I give a ***** less/What do I think of success?, it sucks, too much stress”), and continues an amazing display of charisma, before passing the track to Nas, who sounds as hungry as he did on previous classics. After famously deading their beef two years ago, it’s becoming apparent that the co-K.O.N.Y.’s sound so much better on a track, than they do going at each other on a track. Classic song.

13.) Fallin’

This track is without a doubt the best song on the album. Everything from production (courtesy of Jermaine Dupri), to subject matter, and finally lyricism is shown. Jay details the struggle of the game (in a mode very reminscent of “Reasonable Doubt”), and sounds just as hungry as he did 10 years ago with such clever wordplay:

“…talking tough on the youtube, bout what you used to do
but’s that oldschool to the new crew, they doin numbers like Seduku”

14.) American Gangster

Much like last year’s “Show Me What You Got”, this is uptempo production courtesy of longtime collaborator Just Blaze. However unlike “Show Me What You Got”, this track is more of Jay in his true element. Describing how he is the ultimate ‘American Gangster’, this track has a very 70’s blaxploitation feel. Discussing the breakup of the Roc, and the rumors of an illegitimate child, all while maintaining a perfected flow, Jay takes this track where no other artist could making for another classic track.

15.) Blue Magic

Although Jay himself stated that this was a conceptual album, this track (and also the album’s first single) has a very different feel from the rest of the disc. The beat is not one of the Neptunes best, and although Jay manages to provide some quotables (“Niggas wanna bring the 80’s back/That’s okay with me, that’s where they made me at”), the song as a whole doesn’t blend well with the rest of the production and theme.

So after a dissapointing comeback album in”Kingdom Come”, it appears Jay has found the motivation he needed to produce the soon-to-be classic (even if it was inspired by a Denzel Washington film) “American Gangster.” This album should disregard any doubt that Jay still has the ability to make good records, while showcasing his hustler mentality over soulful instrumentals (credit Jermaine Dupri, Diddy, Just Blaze, and Bigg D). Although not on the level of “Blueprint” or “Reasonable Doubt”, this will still remain as one of Jay’s better albums.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

B.G – It’s All On U Vol. 2

B.G - It's All On U Vol. 2Back in 1997, before Cash Money’s prime and multimillion dollar deal with Universal, the label released a string of albums from their first marquee star – 17 year old B.G. After releasing the regional smash “Chopper City” in 1996, B.G. followed it up with the release of “It’s All On U Vol. 1” in early ’97. “Vol. 2” was put out later that same year.


1.) Don’t Hate Me

Anybody that knows anything about Cash Money knows that The Big Tymers always set an album off with an intro. Mannie Fresh’s smooth production make for a melodic way while gaming haters and non sayers.

2.) What U Want Do

The first real track from B.G. is the uptempo “What U Want Do.” While B.G. manages to properly ride the beat, his lyrics are noticabley amateur. However, his delivery, combined with Fresh’s production, makes for a good track.

3.) Get Your Shine On feat. Big Tymers

Before Cash Money blew with Juvenile’s “Ha” and “Back That Azz Up”, B.G. gave labels a reason to sign them with his New Orleans anthem “Get Your Shine On.” Over very soothing production, both B.G. and The Big Tymers deliver a classic song.

4.) Livin’ Legend

My personal favorite on the album, B.G. (even at the age of 17) spends this song declaring his status as a ‘livin legend’. 6 years before the release of his album of the same name, and only 4 albums into his career, B.G. provides proof he was already a legend in the game. Great song, with even better production by Mannie Fresh.

5.) Hot Boys 226 feat. Hot Boys

B.G.’s delivery on this song is noticabley strong, keeping up with Fresh’s upbeat bassline driven production. Lil Wayne makes for a strong guest appearence, as does Juvenile making for an above average song by the Hot Boys.

6.) Ride Or Die feat. Hot Boys

Using the same sample Lil Kim used for one of her earliest singles, B.G. and Lil Wayne trade verses, with sharp flows, over this mellow track. Juvenile adds another guest appearence at the end of a track, before B.G. steals the show at the end of the song.

7.) Plan Went Sour

Over another mellow beat, courtesy of Mannie Fresh, B.G. attempts at telling the story of a heist that went wrong. Lyrics are once again a drawback, but a good hook and delivery make for a listenable song, on a New Orleans classic.

8.) Clean Up Man

The Baby Gangsta gets violent on this track, explaining his role as the “clean up man” with a “K in his hand”, ready to clean up any mess. This is one of those tracks where B.G.’s laid back southern drawl works with the production extremely well. Good song.

9.) I’m Try’n feat. Juvenile, Lil Wayne

B.G. expresses his attempt at abandoning the gangsta lifestyle, but how it keeps callin him. A teenage heroin addict, B.G. has obviously had his share of what he calls “that monkey on my back.” Juvenile assists with the hook (as does Lil Wayne with a forgettable verse), giving the hook a lil Hot Boy flavor, over Mannie’s funk driven bassline.

10.) ‘U’ All ‘N’

This is one of the only tracks on the disc that the album could do without. Production sounds stale, and B.G.’s vocals are noticabley low, along with lyrics that aren’t up to par with the rest of the album. Skip.

11.) 6 Figure feat. Hot Boys

This is more of what I expect out of a B.G. song. Over dark Mannie Fresh production, Gizzle’s altered vocals blend perfectly with the beat, as he describes his need for 6 figures. Lil Wayne and Turk follow his verse up with recognizable flows, but the song is undoubtedly stolen by Juvenile, who serves up the songs best verse. Great track, and clearly one of the album’s best.

12.) Stay N Line Hoe

To close the album out, B.G. chooses to express his hate for those ‘dog ass hoes’. Production is very simplistic, as is B.G.’s verse, making this track a very dissapointing way to close out a near flawless album.

In conclusion, even at the age of 17, B.G. serves up some of his best work on this Cash Money classic. Far better than the original “Chopper City” and “It’s All On U”, this album proved that Cash Money was more than just a regional success, and legitimized B.G.’s career (this was the last album before “Bling Bling” was released to the masses on Gizzle’s follow up ‘Chopper City In The Ghetto’).

Overall Rating: 4/5

Kanye West – Graduation

Kanye West - GraduationWhen I heard Kanye West had another album coming like the rest of the world I was expecting high pitch sped-up samples with clever chops with the usual list of appearances. However, kanye has come back with a totally different sound for his newest offering. Sampling and chopping is still present but since his albums have progressed so has his creativeness.

From the first single you could tell that Kanye was taking to a new approach when he begins the song with a daft punk sample. “Stronger” samples ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ in the background, while being covered and lead by thick and rich synth. It is then topped by strong drums and Kanye’s usual brag raps. For fans of Kanye’s old stuff it will take a little bit to embrace it though will soon see it’s a strong song and just shows his diversity. The second song to be heard before the release “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” also is a new attempt by Mr. West. With trademark dirty south drums and light synth, you see Kanye appealing to down south fans while keeping his intact with what sounds to be sampling though really vocals from Connie Mitchell. The up and coming single “Good Life” which features the surprising appearance from T-Pain again is balance between new and old. Sampling “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”by Michael Jackson is a sample not new for West as he used it before for a Memphis Bleek song; Kanye uses new pieces while adding heavy synthesis over them. The song again sounds more down south sound while adding a different style to it.

The mixture kanye has bought is more hit then miss in my opinion. Songs such as “I Wonder” works, where it combines both samples of vocals and piano with synthesis and drums which sound very played with. It also works with“Flashing Lights” where strings and synths are used together and is finished off with Dwele’s smooth vocals.“Champion” samples Steeley Dan where he pays tribute to a few people with hits of synths here and there. “Drunk and Hot girls” however does really work and you are reaching for the skip button. It’s a shame as it was the only real promising appearance with the almighty Mos Def.

Apart from T-pain, Dwele and Mos Def there are some more guests however none the listener would expect. For“Barry Bonds” the man of the moment Lil’ Wayne joins Kanye over an animated sounding beat to brag. Chris Martin of Coldplay sings the hook to the “Homecoming” where he metaphors Chicago as a women which has reminisces of Common’s I Used To Love You especially as the first line is borrowed from his song. The beat is nicely created with piano and hard drums.

Kanye has also teamed up with Premo to create “Everything I Am” where vocals, scratching and sharp sampled piano hits makes this deep song. This is what the fans expected more of Kanye. “The Glory” which samples Laura Nyro and has strikes of strings layered on top of it is also what I feel is more expected from Mr. West.

The album hasn’t really got many topics as his previous albums though “Big Brother” finishes of the album well. Over a guitar, bass, drums and synths Kanye West pays tribute to the living legend “Jay-z” thinking of him as a big brother.

In all this album gets a 4 out of 5 from me. Even thought there is only one real bad track the album is far from perfect. Kanye has brought a different style to his last ones and progressed and tried a lot more risky things. Lyricism is still at an alright standard though doesn’t really amaze.


This album isn’t for everyone though is worth a try.

Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle

Snoop Doggy Dogg - DoggystyleIn this industry everyone loves to claim that their debut album was a classic. But what truly makes a classic album? Let’s run down the list of prerequisites that are needed for an album to have the right to be called a classic. First and foremost it would need to have numerous chart topping smash hits. It would need to have a couple cult underground hits. Legendary tales surrounding its production is definitely a must. Then there’s the most important aspect – impact and influence for years to come. It has to revolutionize whatever genre it represents. All of said traits can be found in Snoop Doggy Dogg’s impressive 1993 debut album, Doggystyle. This 13 track masterpiece (18 on the original print since skits were on separate tracks) certified two things in its wake. One, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic would not be a one hit wonder for Death Row Records, and two, Snoop had established himself as a full blown superstar. With that in mind, feel free to dipp with us as we take a trip down memory lane.

1. Bathtub

The initial album intro takes us into the pimp’d out lifestyle of Snoop Doggy Dogg. While getting bathed by a sultry sounding woman, the doorbell rings. In true pimp fashion Snoop sends his girl to ‘handle that’. As she opens it, bursting through the door are legions of plastic well wishers all trying to get a word with the big dogg. After a brief conversation with Warren G, who puts Snoop’s new baller status life into perspective, the show begins!

2. G Funk Intro

True to its name, the G Funk Intro ushers in the overture to Doggystyle in perfect G-Funk fashion. However, the first voice to be heard rapping on the album is not Snoop. The lyrical gangbanger herself, The Lady of Rage, tears up the intro with an aggressive and on point set. Following Rage’s impressive drop Snoop hits us with a small Two-bar taste of things to come. The beat to the intro takes cue from Dr. Dre’s fascination with the Parliament Funkadelic era of funk music as a definite homage’s to “(Not Just) Knee Deep” can be heard.

3 Gin And Juice

Perhaps one of the most recognizable tracks in Snoop Dogg’s career, Gin and Juice could possibly be credited to Snoop’s ascension from popular newcomer to music superstar icon. The Grammy nominated second single off the album became an overnight radio/club/party smash hit and was released itself as a single, earning a gold certification. The lyrics to the song come out strong and catchy. More specifically the hook to the song has been so influential in Hip-Hop culture that it has been the subject of re-use by such artists as 2Pac, Jay-Z, and 50 Cent. The beat itself contains heavy samples of George McRae’s “I Get Lifted” which compliments Dr. Dre’s energetically potent production. Gin and Juice is the quintessential early 90’s club banger.

4. Tha Shiznit

This is one of the best seemingly freestyled tracks on the whole album. Dr. Dre’s fast paced, yet oh so rhythmic beat is perfect behind Snoop’s ridiculously smooth flow centering on the flyest subject Snoop can speak on – himself. The bass guitar licks have an almost calming effect, while the funky jazz flute part of the melody leaves a lasting impression on the audience. Definitely not to be skipped over.

5. Lodi Dodi

This eerily slow and catchy homage to the 1985 Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh classic “La Di Da Di” is the first underground hit of the album. Snoop recites almost word-for-word the original song in this G-Funk’d remake, which ironically to this day is ritualistically recited word-for-word by true Hip-Hop heads. Dr. Dre, true to his style at the time, provides a chilling and unnerving beat.

6. Murder Was The Case [DeathAfterVisualizingEternity]

The original version to the more popular hit remix is Snoop’s first attempt (and success) at a bonified concept song. Murder Was The Case could just as well be the narration to a masterfully executed horror novel or film, but is ironically a concept theme to an 18 minute short film of the same name directed by Dr. Dre and starring Snoop. The song starts out with Snoop dying in an emergency room after being shot repeatedly, when at the last minute he makes a deal with the devil. The scene then switches to Snoop surviving and living a baller lifestyle just as Satan promised him. Snoop gets more and more greedy, yet never is able to satisfy his growing appetites. At this point his greed becomes too great and his caught up in a prison sentence complete with all the horrors and realities of time to be served. Although the remix has a more cinematic style beat, the original does not fail to have conveyed an aura of tragic dread and dark spiritualism.

7. Serial Killa

It’s time for the Death Row camp to shine all around, as Snoop is joined by then fellow inmates Tha Dogg Pound, RBX and a post car-accident D.O.C. Tha Dogg Pound’s Dat Nigga Daz provides an uncredited co-production on this cold and remorseless hit of murda. Kurupt starts out the track with his trademark savage verbal hits that we have not heard since his impressive debut on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. Daz then takes the mic dropping his O.G. style verse that then smoothes over to Snoop who lays down a clear warning as to what it is to ***** with the Dogg Pound crew. RBX finishes out the track which also serves as the last time we are to hear him on a new Death Row project.

8. Who Am I (What’s My Name)?

This song served as the first single to Doggystyle. The significance of the song is that like so many other artists who have achieved classic album status Snoop uses his own name as a song premise. Also to be noted is that Snoop Doggy Dogg was one of the first in Hip-Hop to set this trend, which would be followed in later years by such artists as The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, and DMX. Lyrically this was the archetypical hit song of the 90’s with Snoop dropping some of the most memorable, catchiest, and cool lyrics of the time. He even pays homage to his own classic catch phrases from The Chronic’s “Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat” (“Because I never hesitate to put a nigga on his back”) and “Deep Cover (187)” (“Cuz it’s 187 on a motha*****in cop”). Dre pays homage’s of his own to Parliament Funkadelic with samples from “Atomic Dog”, “(Not Just) Knee Deep”, and “Give Up the Funk”. The song was released as a single in late 1993 and eventually earned a gold plaque.

9. For All My Niggaz & My *****es

Definitely the “Coming soon from Death Row Records” advertisement song as Tha Dogg Pound and The Lady Of Rage were given the opportunity to show the world what they could do. Most importantly they would do it without the help of the big boss dogg. Kurupt starts off the track with a lethally potent slow verse which lays the tempo for next couple of verses. What’s to note here more then anything else is the first signs of obvious chemistry between Kurupt and Daz. The two smoothly play off each other, giving us a taste of things to come; which would come out in the smash hit “What Would U Do?” and the entire Dogg Food album two years later. Rage closes out the song with short yet strong verse. Co-production props should go to Daz, who was uncredited for his work on the song.

10. Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None)

Guess whose back in the motha*****in house! Snoop and his Dogg Pound homies serve up yet another classic joint centering on bustin hoes and passing to the homies. The song that gave Nate Dogg his pre-Regulate popularity is probably one of the most fun tracks off the LP. Nate starts off the track with a short tale about a flip that is so catchy you can’t help but sing along. Kurupt and Snoop both drop entertaining verses, closing out with Warren G dropping his verse and the most hilarious line of the whole album – “So back up ***** because I’m struggling. Just get on your knees and then start jugglin”. The violin and bass heavy instrumental, which contains a sample of Lyn Collins “Think (about it)”, rounds out the song.

11. Doggy Dogg World

Snoop is once again joined by Tha Dogg Pound, but more unexpectedly by 70’s Soul group The Dramatics. The beat is one of the most crispy-clean sounds of the time, let alone the album, taking direct inspiration from Richard Fields’ “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another”. Snoop starts Doggystyle’s third single by addressing the cheap Snoop Dogg imitators that were floating around at the time. Kurupt however steals the show with an impressive display of lyrical talent that would only be rivaled by his own verse on “Stranded On Death Row”, released only a year earlier. Although Daz does not have the lyrical stamina of Snoop or Kurupt, he more then makes up for it with his performing presence and slick rhyming savvy. Doggy Dogg World is uncharacteristically smoother then any of other tracks on the album but definitely ensures its niche.

12. Gz And Hustlaz

This track is without a doubt the single greatest freestyled track in Death Row Records history. Snoop’s unscripted endurance trial flows bar for bar in an almost flawless fashion, and does not skimp on the albums trend of smoothly executed, catchy, and memorable phrases such as “If you want some, get some, bad enough, take some”. The beat itself was taken entirely from Bernard Wright’s “Haboglabotribin”, with some slight modifications, and reworked with Snoop taking advantage in every way possible concerning the beat. It is as if Snoop’s unique and smooth flow was made to be performed over this type of instrumental. Although not a hit, Gz And Hustlaz is quality material.

13. Pump Pump

Doggystyle comes to a close with the albums most hardcore and intense song. The beat itself is the high point of the song. Its sound would be at home in the goriest scene of the sickest slasher film. This would definitely be Dre’s cherry on the top to a dramatically intense themed album, which could be considered the epitome of a hardcore rap album. Snoop drops his first two cold and remorseless verses right before introducing the final guest to the album – a very young Hershey Loc who too spits with a cold and vicious demeanor. All in all the song serves as a climatic end to an epic album.

The final score? A well deserved 5 out of 5 classic. If The Chronic changed the sound of Hip-Hop, Doggystyle cemented the sound and ensured its reign for the next decade. Everything about this time in Snoop’s life took its toll on the album and is the reason why it is the best known and most classically treasured projects of Snoop Doggy Dogg’s career. In a few years he would be known as: one of Amerikaz most wanted alongside his lable-mate Tupac, The Doggfather, and eventually the Big Boss Dogg, but the majority of his fans will always remember Snoop as the young pimp who was doin up the game Doggystyle.

2pac – Nu Mixx Klazzics Vol. 2

2pac - Nu Mixx Klazzics Vol. 2Yet another 2Pac release. In all honesty, I think even the most hardcore of ‘Pac fans are losing track of albums circulating from the deceased rapper. This album is the official followup to 2003’s “Nu Mixx Classics”, and features more new production and features from (surprisingly) ‘Pac’s homeboys. The majority of this collection consists (much like “Nu Mixx Classics”) of ‘Pac’s Deathrow material.


1.) Picture Me Rollin feat. Kurupt, Butch Cassidy

If anyone is familiar with the original (and as a ‘Pac fan, how could you not be?), they will notice right off the bat that this is very similar to it’s original version. Danny Boy is replaced with Butch Cassidy, who does a very comendable job on the hook, giving new life to the track. Kurupt also doesn’t dissapoint, providing classic Westcoast flavor and a classic verse. I’m going to go out on a limb, and say this is better then the original. Haters feel free to hate on.

2.) Keep Goin feat. Hussein Fatal

This track features the self proclaimed Outlaw Don – Hussein Fatal, who doesn’t dissapoint in the least. While also providing hook duties, 2Pac provides a classic (although short) verse dissing the Bad Boy camp (whose reference is unfortunatley edited out), taking you back to a time when the beef was hot. Hussein clearly steals the show, however, and proves furthermore why he deserves more credit. Great song.

3.) What’z Ya Phone # feat. Candy Hill

I’ll be the first to admit, I was never the biggest fan of this track. While the original features Johnny J’s signature sound, this is more of a solumn track, with an overdone hook. Candy Hill’s verse is also not on par with ‘Pac’s. And although this track doesn’t really do anything for me, 2Pac’s verses are placed perfectly with the instrumental, giving it a new twist. Decent at best.

4.) Staring Through My Rear View feat. Dwele

Phil Collins classic sample is still provided, in this slightly modified version of the original. Maybe that’s for the better, as this song was/is an undeniable classic. One of the only differences is Dwele provides the hook (and does a good job at that), but this track is slightly in need of the Outlawz. Thankfully, 2Pac’s pristine outro is still in tact, making for another good track.

5.) Hail Mary [Rock Mix] feat. Outlawz

I understand what the producers were trying to do with this song, but it fails in every aspect. ‘Pac’s now famous intro to this song sounds terribly layered, and the beat is just too out there for any fan to appreciate. The Outlawz verse remains the same, but the beat is just too much, making for the first wack remix on the album.

6.) Got My Mind Made Up feat. Outlawz, Kurupt

Much like the original classic that appeared on “All Eyez On Me”, production, for the most part, stays the same. 2Pac sets the track off, and is followed by Hussein Fatal, and Young Noble. Kurupt (who drops arguably the best verse on the entire song) is up next, and doesn’t dissapoint in the least. Good track.

7.) Pain feat. Styles P, Butch Cassidy

The original “Pain” featuring the late Stretch is regarded as one of ‘Pac’s best songs. So topping it, or even making a remix on par with the original, proved to be tough. This song isn’t bad (Butch Cassidy actually does another excellent job on the hook), but in comparison to the original is lackluster. Styles P drops a good verse, but production isn’t exactly great. Average at best.

8.) Lost Souls feat. Outlawz

This is very similar to the original “Lost Souls”, which appeared on the ‘Gang Related Soundtrack’ back in 1997. The only difference is a slight change in the beat, and a new verses courtesy of the Outlawz. If you liked the original chances are you will like this one.

9.) Wanted Dead Or Alive (Gangsta Party) feat. Snoop Dogg

Much like “Hail Mary (Rock Mix)” this track started off with a heavy guitar influence. At first listen it’s wack, but as soon as Snoop’s verse drops, the beat switches tempo. Pac’s hook (“2 of the livest, wanted dead or alive”) sounds good, and makes for another decent remix. However, after a couple listens, it sounds pieced together.

10.) Initiated feat. Boot Camp Clik

2Pac’s “One Nation” comrades show up for the remix of Daz’s original “Initiated.” Production is very east coast flavored, and while Boot Camp drops above average verses, the tempo of Pac’s verse sounds terribly out of place, when compared to the original, which really ends up dragging this track down.

11.) How Do U Want It

When remaking a classic, be sure to do it justice. “How Do U Want It” easily fits the aforementioned category, and while I had doubts about this song, it turned out to be very good. A completely different vibe is used, with the beat being aimed toward the club scene. The only drawback is the hook (not nessescary at all), but other then that, Pac’s verses remain timeless even 11 years after his death.

12.) Picture Me Rollin feat. Outlawz

This, unlike the first track to open up the album, contains Danny Boy’s vocals, and a guest appearence from the Outlawz. Hussein Fatal, once again, drops the best verse on the track. But, with the exception of his verse, the Outlawz lack, failing to really make this a great remix. I expected more out of the end of the album.

In conclusion, this was a very worthy sequel to “Nu Mixx Classics.” While not tampering with Pac’s formula too much, and keeping guest appearences mainly people he actually worked with (what a concept) made this album work in a good way. Album highlights include “Picture Me Rollin”, “Keep Goin”, and “Starin Thru My Rearview.” The only complaint I have with this release is while most remixes are on point, there are a few terrible tracks (“Hail Mary” being one of them), and they are clearly milking Pac’s legacy for every penny it’s worth.

Overall Rating: 3/5