Death Row’s been laying low for a long time while its CEO Suge Knight has been in jail. Suge’s out now and Death Row has got an entirely new roster with some exceptions; Danny Boy, Michel’le and Kurupt are all once again signed to Death Row. This soundtrack is the first release in a year or so. Previously, they released “Too gangsta 4 radio”. That album was a personal favourite for me, so I’m hoping that this album will be good too. That was my starting point when copping this album.
1. Crooked I feat. Virginya Slim – Still tha row.
The album starts of with its first single titled “Still Tha Row”. The song is basically Crooked I mocking the police about their raid on the Death Row offices and saying how it’s still “Tha Row” (obviously). The track had an original version and this re-make of it. The original version wasn’t much of a single, but I’d say it was much better. It’s too bad they didn’t put it on the soundtrack since the production is lacking on this version. I’m not feeling it… Crooked I’s holding it up though.
2. Kurupt – I’m back.
Kurupt is back on Death Row, and he’s letting us know on this track. Kurupt’s throwing subliminal disses and nice wordplays over a tight, eastern influenced, beat. I’d say that this is one of the better cuts from Kurupt on record in a while, and maybe he’s really back to his old self. One of my favourite tracks on the album.
3. Crooked I, Eastwood & Danny Boy – Dysfunktional Family Theme.
The theme song of the movie is done by Crooked I, Eastwood and RnB singer Danny Boy. It’s a nice, laid back, cut that’s probably inspired by the movie. I haven’t seen the movie so I wouldn’t really know… It’s a cool track tho and there were talks about making it the second single.
4. Jay-Z – Hovi baby (Remix).
Jay-Z’s making an appearance on this album with a remix of an other tight song of his. Judging from the shoutouts I’d say that trackmasters made this remix, and they did a great job! It’s a very tight beat and Jay-Z’s showing off a nice flow to it.
5. Juvenile, Skippa & Young Buck – I’m a gangsta.
The south are contributing to this soundtrack with juvenile and his crew. The beat’s a west coast beat with some southern influences, and it’s really cool. I’m not feeling how Juvenile, Skippa and Young Buck handles it tho.
6. Eastwood & Crooked I – We ballin.
“We ballin” is a party track, and should have been chosen as the first single. I’m sure it’d be a hit in the clubs… Eastwood and Crooked I are showing off their gangsta-lyrical skills and Eastwood’s giving us a really tight hook. “We ballin” is my favourite track on this album.
7. Eastwood, Crooked I, Danny Boy & Ja Rule – Who wants to ***** tonight.
Everybody know that Murder INC and Tha Row collabs now and then, and this is an other example of that. Irv Gotti on the production and 3 Row artists with Ja Rule guesting. The production is kind of slow, and the first thing that came to my mind when listening to it was how it sounded influenced by the “Home Alone” theme. Ja Rule’s not doing the hook on a track he’s guesting for once, but his verse is pretty short and he starts off by doing his Nelly-influenced singing thing. If you like that, you’ll definitely like his verse. All in all, this is a nice cut.
8. Ashanti – All my.
Murder INC is making its second appearance with this track, titled “All my”, by Ashanti.
I’m not a big RnB fan, but I don’t really like the production on this one; it’s pretty much just a beat. Ashanti is a nice singer tho and she’s doing her best to a wack beat.
9. Gail Gotti – Gangstress (How I Roll).
This Gail Gotti track has been criticised a lot, but I like it. The beat is tight, Gail Gotti’s doing a good job on the mic and the chorus is very catchy. The first time I heard this track I thought that Gail Gotti was dissing someone named Reddbone, but I later found out that Reddbone is a group she’s in with her sister Virginya Slim. She IS dissing Kurupt’s ex girl and babymama, Natrina Reed, though.
10. Eastwood, Spider & Ganxsta Ridd – Tha Row (Ya’ll hoes).
Death Row is notorious for dissing anyone that they feel like dissing. On the Dystunktional Family Soundtrack, this is that diss. Eastwood, Spider and Ganxsta Ridd from the Booya Tribe are dissing Snoop, Soopafly, Daz Dillinger, Bad Azz and the entire Dogghouse crew over a really tight beat and a chorus mocking a chorus done by Daz for his upcoming album. Everyone’s coming out raw and tight, and I’d say it’s a very tight diss.
11. Michel’le – I know where I’m going.
“I know where I’m going” by RnB vet Michel’le is the second pure RnB track of this album. Michel’le is singing about how hard it was for her growing up, and what she was exposed to in her “dysfunctional” family. I’d say that this RnB song is better than the one done by Ashanti. Production’s cool too.
12. Ganxsta Ridd & Kurupt – 1 Call (Real talk).
All tracks produced by a Death Row producer’s saying “Produced by the Tha Row Heavyhitters”, but I’d guess that Sir Jinx produced this one – it’s got his style. I’ve heard him produce far better tracks than this one tho and the track itself is pretty weak with Ganxsta Ridd and Kurupt trying to hold it up. Ganxsta Ridd is raw, but the beat isn’t so they’re not exactly a perfect match.
13. N.I.N.A feat Danny Boy – Too street 4 T.V.
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez aka N.I.N.A was on Death Row shortly before she dies, and this is one of the tracks she left behind her. Darren vegas is on the production and he’s doing a great job on this one. Rumor is that N.I.N.A got help from Crooked I when writing the lyrics on this song, and it sure sounds like it. She’s got some nice lyrics and she’s doing a good job spitting them.
14. Crooked I feat Phobia – Get off the block.
This Crooked I track was a last minute addition to the album, and it was an excellent choise! It’s a really tight produced track with Crooked I spitting some really tight shit over it. This is one of my absolute favourites from this album.
15. Skippa – On the radio.
This is an other of those tracks that people’s been hating on, and I have no idea why – it’s tight as *****! The production’s some really tight west coast shit and Skippa’s spitting some really amusing shit all over it. They shoulda left “I’m a gangsta” off the album and kept this as the dirty south’s contribution for the soundtrack.
16. Crooked I, Eastwood, Danny Boy, Eddit Griffin & The Dramatics – I thought u knew.
“I thought u knew” is a laid back track with the Dramatics and Danny Boy on the hook. Actor Eddie Griffin, for whoms movie the soundtrack is for, is rapping for the first time on this one too and he’s not too bad for being a first-timer. Eastwood and Crooked I are coming out tight as usual and overall this is a really nice cut.
17. Spider feat. Eddie Griffin – Dys-Funk-Tional.
Once again Eddie Griffin is appearing on the track. This time he’s doing the hook. Spider, a very raw rapper, is doing the verses and this track has gotten a lot of props from all kinds of people. It’s not one of my favourite tracks but I can see why people like it.
This album had its up and downs. Some tracks had wack production, and had to be held up by tight rappers like Crooked I and Eastwood. In other cases the rappers couldn’t hold up wack production, so it came out in a bad way.
It’s hard to rate a soundtrack since its got so many different artists and styles. None of the RnB cuts impressed me, even tho Michel’le’s song was nice. The “guests”; Jay-Z, Juvenile, Ja Rule etc did a good job on most tracks even though I wasn’t feeling “I’m a gangsta” by Juvenile and his crew..
Crooked I is dropping his solo album in a near future, and I really hope that he’ll get better production on his album since I’m hoping that it’ll be a classic. This album was a wakeup call for Suge. He needs to get better production for his label.
Darren Vegas and trackmasters are the only producers that’s doing what I expected on this album. The other producers aren’t 100% wack, but I expected better.
Crooked I, Eastwood and Kurupt are holding up this soundtrack, and making it a solid soundtrack.
I grade this album 3,5 out of 5.