Thursday, November 21, 2013

A brief review of Kool G Rap & Necro (Godfathers) "Once Upon A Crime"


I'm a long time fan of Kool G Rap, and although I haven't heard a lot of material from Necro, this one has been planned for quite some time, with it finally seeing the light of day on November 19, 2013. G Rap and Necro handles the mic duties, while Domingo is behind the boards. And while conducting some brief research before this review, I noticed that they dropped "The Pre-Kill Volumes 1 & 2" (mixtapes for the most part). I haven't checked those out (they're a mixture of new and previously released material), so from here I'll be going straight into the review.



THE OPENER
"Teflon Dons"

This is a fairly decent opener and it does it's job in setting the tone for the rest of the album. G Rap and Necro essentially speak their peace and were out.




I went into this album knowing that the mafia/mob influence would be a present theme, and that's certainly the case. You can tell by each song title. Following the opener is the short but sweet ""The City", which finds G Rap and Necro at their best while bigging up NY. I also really liked the Godfather influenced "Omerta" and the closing title track. There are some other decent cuts on the album such as "American Sickos", "Black Medicine" and apply titled selections like "The Pain", "High Tension" and "Trigga 4 Hire". Unfortunately, the second half of the album, outside of a few decent songs (especially the closer), becomes a little repetitive and slows things down. This is clear on "We'll Kill You", "Crook Catastrophe & The Gunblast Kid", "Gangsta", which could've lost at least a minute and a half, and "Heart Attack" which suffers from a forgettable beat.

Well, what you hear is what you get. Necro does his thing for the most part and G Rap, which still an influential legend, is still G Rap. This is no knock on G Rap, but I feel he hasn't aged as well as other MCs who have been around the same length of time he has in hip hop. I appreciate this 3.5 star album, because while the subject matter may not produce anything new, it's almost a complete breath of fresh air in today's hip hop scene. Check it out when you get a chance!!!!




BONUS 

This will actually be my first time checking this out. Admittedly, I did preview some samples a few times, but I wasn't impressed. So as a bonus, I'll provide a brief review of this album from 2011.


The opening "Pimptro" was not the best opener, but it attempted to makes its points. Beginning with the decent songs on this album, we get that in three joints produced by DJ Supa Dave, which are "In Too Deep" (featuring Heather Walker), "Sad" , and the familiar sounding "Pillow Talk". And sadly, in my view, that's where the "decent" ends with this album. I don't like saying this about a G Rap album, but man, the remainder of this album is simply uninspired and not a good listen. "Ya Chic Chose Me", "The Meaning of Your Love", "$ Ova Bitches", and "Pages of My Life" (which is slightly good) all come across cliched as all hell, with G Rap covering these same topics before and better. Even the Havoc assisted, Alchemist produced "American Nightmare" falls short and he does himself and the listener NO favors by switching up his flow and voice on "Da Real Thing". (Sigh). 


I have no additional thoughts on this one unfortunately, and it basically confirmed why I felt the way I did when I checked out the samples. I know you're probably saying, "well damn Wayne, this is Kool G Rap, you think you were a little hard on this one considering this is your first time hearing it?" While I can certainly understand that, I can already tell that multiple listens to this album, which is NOT an option, will not change my opinions or ratings. This is clearly the worst album of G Rap's career, and a lot of that has to do with him not aging well (on the mic that is), not to mention a sluggish flow throughout this album, with uninteresting production to match. I have no desire to revisit this and I wouldn't recommend this to the hardest of G Rap fans, long time or otherwise. A generous 2 star rating, largely for the three Supa Dave produced tracks.

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