audio review : The Love Album [ Off The Grind ] ( album ) … Diddy

audio review : The Love Album ( album ) ... Diddy

This isn’t really a Diddy album in the traditional sense, but it starts like one. When he first raps on the opening Love song; his voice hasn’t changed much after all these years; it brings about a sense of late 1990s nostalgia. Bad Boy was on top of the rap world back then and a major player when it came to the modern soul genre commonly referred to as “R&B”. This is more of a compilation album with strong emphasis on the latter.

There are twenty songs here and every one has a singer on the hook, most of whom are quite famous. That says more about Diddy’s clout than his artistic skills as the mogul bows out of whole songs like he’s still talent scouting for Uptown Records. You won’t fall in Love with most of them; the constant crooning rarely results in memorable melodies; but The Weeknd steals the show with his feature and HER shines on the Space closer.

my rating : 3 of 5


2Pac’s All Eyez On Me or The Notorious BIG’s Life After Death : Which album is better?

audio review : All Eyez On Me ( album ) ... 2Pac The Notorious BIG's Life After Death

These two albums, each considered a double album as far as the time limits of CDs and cassettes go, were bound to be compared. What’s amazing is how comparable they are. They represent the rival rappers at their best, though it’s not so much 2Pac and The Notorious BIG but their musical associates that make the projects as good as they are.

The beats are the best parts. They’re mostly provided by Death Row and Bad Boy’s in-house producers; Johnny J and Stevie J get the most credits; though Diddy steps out to invite the likes of DJ Premier, who produced Unbelievable from BIG’s debut, and Rza. I prefer the grimy streets of New York over west-coast California’s G-funk though.

Eyez has better hooks because Death Row has better singers. Nate Dogg, Danny Boy and Michel’le are the highlights of their features along with uncredited crooners like Nanci Fletcher and Stacey Smallie. It’s special guest George Clinton who shows his ass though. Can’t C Me is the best song. Life After Death doesn’t have an obvious standout.

Still, when it comes to Biggie and Pac as rappers, while neither will wow you with lyrical prowess, I prefer the former. Pac, whose flashy delivery would make for a more entertaining concert performance, rarely has anything particularly interesting to say. Biggie can be surprisingly poignant, funny even, especially when he’s Got A Story To Tell.

my vote : Life After Death

video review : Notorious

video review : Notorious

“Biggie, give me one more chance,” to cash in on your death. This movie; based on the life of Chris Wallace, better known as The Notorious BIG; isn’t really about biographical art. Neither does it offer anything new about his life. It’s just a straight summary that goes from his hardships as a Brooklyn street kid to the Biggest name the “eastcoast” rap world has to offer without offering any unique insight or perspective of its own. That means, even if you never read Vibe or watched BET enough to know what’s going to happen, what does is never enough to warrant a Hollywood movie.

Aside from his “so-called beef with you-know-who” and the spectacular murders that follow, BIG’s life of rags-to-riches, worldwide fame and bitches; Naturi Naughton plays the role of Lil Kim; just isn’t that interesting when the words don’t rhyme over beats. The storytellers here; screenwriters Reggie Rock and Cheo Hodari, along with director George Tillman; simply lack the creative know-how to make up for that fact. What that results in is a movie any cinema-driven fan could’ve made with a big-enough budget and approval from $ean “Puffy” Combs as executive producer.

my rating : 3 of 5