By Samuel L. Chesneau
After getting over my initial excitement of finally peeping a copy of Ghostface Killah's (now just Ghostface) The Pretty Toney Album, it's now safe to say this album has lived up to all the anticipation and hype. From the intro and opener, "Biscuits," to the finale with Musiq, "Love," this collection of hits is chock-full of heat from Wu-Tang's finest. And you can save yourself the time of dissecting Ghostface's lyrics because the man is slick with the licks and flows. There aren't too many guest appearances on this one, which is a good thing because not too many cats in the game can rap on par with GFK. LOX members Styles P (fresh out of prison) and Sheek Louch come through to show support on the track "Metal Lungies," though, as does Jadakiss on the hit "Run," while Missy Elliott guests on "Tush." Surprisingly (or not, depending on your outlook), no Wu-Tang appearances on this one, with the exception of two RZA-produced songs. Only time will tell how well this album gets appreciated by the masses, but current indications suggest another classic masterpiece for the new King of New York.
Speaking of Rulers of the Big Apple, it's no secret that Jay-Z's so-called finale, The Black Album, has been remixed to friggin' death by several producers. One of the more overlooked remix albums, however, comes from none other than Seattle's own Bean One, and his work stacks close to the top tier of the dozens in existence. If you get a chance to cop The Black Album Remixed by Bean One, you won't be disappointed, as his grimy sheen comes through and gives fresh perspective to what is starting to become a tired national trend of reworking superstar albums. That said, though, Bean's Black Album should really put him on the radar nationally and deservedly so.
If ever there was a time to skip out of the country for a show, this Monday, May 3, is definitely the time, as Pete Rock & C. L. Smooth, reunited and performing together again, will be live at the Atlantis in Vancouver, Canada, with special guest DJ Kool. (You might remember Kool as the party-rocking DJ with the hit "Let Me Clear My Throat.") The real treat, though, will be seeing the chemistry that arguably one of the greatest duos in hiphop history will have as the Chocolate Boy Wonder and Caramel King perform classic hits from All Souled Out, Mecca and the Soul Brother, The Main Ingredient, and all the heavy hits that Pete Rock has lent a hand with on the production end of things. If the snippets from Rock's new album, Soul Survivor II, are any indication of the sound the two have in store for their next album, brace yourself. At the very least watch the pair perform what's hands-down the greatest song in hiphop history, "T.R.O.Y."