Detroit smart-ass Royce Da 5'9" went to war armed with one of the most formidable arsenals available. His debut, Rock City, Version 2.0 (the alpha version was bootlegged relentlessly), had a beat-maker dream team (the Neptunes, the Alchemist, DJ Premier, Trackmasters), the endorsement of an industry wunderkind (fellow D-towner Eminem put Royce on the map with a cameo on The Slim Shady LP), a mountain of underground hype (the Premier-produced "Boom" was a street sensation) and a cocksure delivery that oozed Motor City oil without ever being derivative. Due to Columbia shelving the album for a year (or the fact that not everyone can be 50 Cent), Royce never really cracked the mainstream — which is unfortunate, since Royce is an engaging, no-nonsense spitter who sounds equally convincing spinning yarns about Motown's grittiest streets ("Rock City") or penning a passionate ode to his privatest of parts ("My Friend").
By Hua Hsu on 08.26.12 in Reviews
Goodie Mob wasn't in great shape circa 2003. Cee-Lo had left a few years earlier and found success as a kind of hippie-funk charismatic. There'd always been surplus energy spilling from the goofy hard rock Gipp and that...
By Nate Patrin on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Picture Flint, Michigan, gutted and poverty-stricken after General Motors left it to die, a city fallen from a prosperous boomtown into one of the most crime-ridden cities in America in the span of a generation. For a ci...
By Jon Caramanica on 04.22.11 in Reviews
One of the original Hot Boys on New Orleans 'seminal Cash Money Records, B.G. was making records since his early teens. Lanky, and with an almost impenetrable drawl, he oozed preternatural confidence on the six album...
By Hua Hsu on 04.22.11 in Reviews
After many delays, this long-awaited comeback finally dropped in 2002. Though flawed, it featured enough bullets to remind us of G Rap's hardcore glory days.