I was awfully hard
on TI (not ATL's King) the last time out, so it's no surprise they went back
to the drawing board quicker than usual. I'm gonna forgive the few tracks most
mixtape heads already hard ("Charades," "Art of War") and
skip to the exclusives. I'm glad the folksy acoustic shit is gone from this
segment and these hoods stuck to what they know: hard beats and hard rhymes.
Since Young Buck's spectacular debut, we haven't heard much from the Cashville
rep other than his G-Unit guest appearances; "Gangsta Gangsta" packs
a walloping New Jack City sound and some pimp-daddy vocals that take up half
the cut. Buck is hard and so is M.O.P. And unless you've been listening to Toby
Keith and Alanis Morrisette for the past few years, you know the drill. Gun-splatting
lyrics and throwback funk prove steady as Billy Danz and Lil Fame ride on both
Memph Bleek's "First and Last"-eh yo Bleek, shit is shaping up to
be a pretty good album, no?-and Wyclef remix of "Police in Helicopters."
Kool G. Rap comes from the same camp, with a mellow piano backdrop that suits
his hard narrative Production credits are on the look for Stat Quo's debut
and if it's all true, shit could easily be another Aftermath success story-the
quick freestyle over "Million & One" sneaks by while the Roc's
Grafh gets at his dawgs with proverbial verbal dexterity. More freestyles come
from Remi Martin (hot to def), with live events from Beanie Sigel (pain from
prison) and Shade 45 (in which you won't see no more of Team Invasion) featuring
Juelz and TI's rough-and-rugged .38 Special ("got the mask over my face
like it's the 31st of October "). The ODB joint with Luda is a bit
gauche and Jim Jones can do a lot better than the bland "Baby Girl";
thankfully, Kanye sneaks onboard for ample mixtape-only joints, "Peace"
and "Hey Mama"; and DJ Green Lantern applies the hood rules to "Corners,"
with Biggie and Fat Joe holding down BK and the BX on the rhyme tip, respectively.
Don't snitch and cop this.