If you wanna talk
bout world premiers and exclusives, excluding the left coast wouldn't make sense.
You not gonna get the first G-Unit, D-Block, or Diplomats songs from Cali's
Untouchables; rather, you gonna get the very best from a rising coast-see the
success of Snoop and Game's latest discs for examples-something Clue, Slay or
Envy can never claim. The truth of the matter is most of you still ain't check
for the Wesside despite Aftermath's recent billboard input. Genius as the Neptunes
are, the addition of the Left's Roscoe P. Coldchain to StarTrak can only do
the imprint some good, as Slim Thug remains their top dawg of the South. Roscoe's
deep nasal is exposed throughout the disc, delivering those pimp-em-gang-em
raps not heard since the essence of the DPG. "1 Day At A Time" lacks
impressive production, also featuring midriff rappers The Stockholders. And
since Roscoe sounds a bit uninspired this ain't a smart choice for the first
track. "Rearview," laced by Dow Jones himself (yeah, much like Green
Lantern, the man mixes all the tracks, pops exclusives, has some blends and
lays down beats), packs a vicious violin loop and belting beat that exhibit
Roscoe's hilarious conversational style. "Handle Your Biz" packs that
off-kilter Neptunes production that Ros meshes with; "Gangsta Banger"
is the first look at dude over an Alchemist beat-and who else better to drop
the murdering soul; while "Can't, Won't, Shit On Me" contains more
of the Latin-fused bounciness the Neps' tunes match to the charismatic drawl;
lastly, "Young Boys" includes dope drum rattles and tingling strings.
If you want the cold streets in all its side-splitting glory, look no further
than Roscoe P. Coldchain's debut Hazardous Life on StarTrak this summer.
Who are the best
lyricists in the south? Crooked I is one of them, and surprisingly he's not
here. The others, Ras Kass, Planet Asia, Sly Boogie, and Kam wait that
Kam? Yeah, the comeback is official on "Real Life," his version of
an industry-calling "Why," keeping things controversial as ever over
an appetizing Jake One effort (don't sleep on this cat on the boards either).
It's a shame the track is only a minute long, but at least y'all know who's
back... C-Arson's Ras Kass looks to be the next Left-Coaster to capture national
acceptance-is he signed to Aftermath?-with the bangers "Fuk U Up"
produced by Scott Storch (the chiming piano loops sound very Dr. Dre-ish) and
the killer "Kaution" courtesy of Rick Rock. Ras still poppin' thangs
with the ill lyrics and an improved original flow that should ask the serious
question: why he ain't blow yet? Scipio is joined by the likes of Ras and Planet
Asia on the "Round Here" remake, while P.A. destroys De La's "Rock
Co.Kane Flow" on the freestyle tip. Former Aftermath legend King T and
W.C. bring back more thump for ya trunk on "Twist A Corner," dipping
many lanes this summer. Speakin' of bouncin', Rick Rock on the beat again for
Sly Boogie's ride anthem, exposing the ill flow to crowds who ain't know. With
Sly you witnessing one of the West's next greats and that's fa shizzle. Yukmouth
sounds better than ever over Bump J's "Move Around," while Dow Jones
provides Fat Joe with lyrical additions from archenemy 50 Cent and the late
B.I.G. on his remix to "Safe 2 Say." It's a shame cats will sleep
on Dow Jones; so maybe it's the DJ's job to do better at shooting for that nationwide
shine. As for those sick of the same ol' exclusives on the same 10 mixtapes
that drop every week, investing your time into a Dow mixtape wouldn't be that
bad of an idea.