One third of Yonkers, NY trio The Lox, Styles P returns with his 5th studio album, "The World's Most Hardest MC Project". After three straight excellent albums (A Gangster & A Gentleman, Time Is Money, and Super Gangster, Extraordinary Gentleman), one so so album (Master of Ceremonies), countless guest appearances, and mixtapes, will we get something new to the table or more of the same? Let's take a look.
The album starts off in a very hard way, with the AraabMUZIK produced banger "Araab Styles", continuing into the apply titled "I Know" (produced by Jahlil Beats), and "Like That", three straight very good songs to start this album. Fellow Lox member, Sheek Louch, is the first guest to appear, in which he and Styles bring the lyrical goods on "Empire State High". We get more bangers here, and in what is arguably the album's best track, the Vinny Idol produced "Pop Out" is true fire, and not only does Styles P sound so inspired over this tight beat, but Mr. Idol greatly samples the classic ESPN Sunday Night Football theme. The only flaw of that song is that it's TOO short, clocking in at 2:15. Another apply titled song, "Hoody Season" is tight as well, produced by an apparent newcomer in Black Saun, and it's another track that's a little too short. "Monopolizing" (featuring Bucky & Large Amount, also produced by Vinny Idol) is not your standard "paper chasin" song, but rather it's "strategic fund stackin" based on how they flow on this one.
We go from the paper chase to the gritty gangsta ish with the Snyp & A.P. assisted "Shooter" over a nice Supastylez beat. The album closes with "Murda Mommy", a somewhat cautionary tale about getting involved with the aggressive/gangsta female, pretty dope too (lyrically and production wise).
Wow, overall this was a pleasant surprise. It's a fast paced album, and although Styles certainly doesn't break new ground, it's still a tight album, as he gives you what you should be familiar with by now (musically) and nothing more, respectively. Initially, although I'm a long time Styles P/Lox, I was on the fence about checking this out, mainly because of how SUDDEN it was announced, and the title, cover, and tracklist have all the makings of a mixtape, but I can honestly say I was wrong, as this is simply TOO GOOD to be any form of a mixtape. The ONLY two complaints I have about the album are Jadakiss was nowhere to be found (hopefully he's working on "Top 5 Dead or Alive", lol) and some of the songs are too short, in that as soon as you find yourself getting into them, it's over. Is this album on the level of his first three? No way. Is it better than "Master of Ceremonies", which had more songs and guests, yes it is. This is recommended, especially for long time fans of Styles P, and it comes with a solid 4 star rating.