|Review - Loyal to the Game|
|Written by Robert ID585|
|Friday, 17 December 2004 07:13|
When Tupac was featured on Digital Undergrounds – ‘Same Song’ the rap world and hip-hop culture changed. Everyone knew there was something special about Tupac.
His up bringing as a son of a Black Panther; the political stance his family took at the time, and his genius mind made for a unimaginable source for the spoken word.
When Tupac passed we lost more than a rap icon, we lost the man Tupac Shakur. And like others before him a voice of a generation was stilled.
Tupac’s music was one of his outlets to help guide the generation. Sure you can say he was a ‘gangsta rapper’ and over look the man; Tupac Shakur but the truth and knowledge that was in his flow and words, was and is timeless.
The latest release from Amaru / Interscope – ‘Loyal to the Game’ should not have been released. The album has many faults and I know that some will write this review off as just a naysayer hating on certain aspects of it.
Maybe you could see it that way if it were not Tupac Shakur we are talking about.
The beats on this album are weak at best. The whole flavor of Tupac’s music seems to have been changed. The flows don’t match the beats. The beats are ‘hollow’ without any background. That ‘marching band’ bass beat that has become so mainstream now is not a Tupac beat.
Unique the album is not. It is unique from a Tupac album perspective because it lacks quality.
There are some tracks that are tolerate able but they are weak and not Tupac.
“Soldier Like Me”; is a Eminem track you can tell with out even looking. That whining and harmonizing back up rip is ready to bust into a standard Eminem track .(2)
“The Uppercut” – Has that same old bass beat that was created on a Kosco beat machine with no back beats or additions. The flow doesn’t match the beat .(2)
“Out on Bail” – Could have been a great track – but again there is that ‘marching band beat’. When you think of a Tupac track you are not suppose to think of a football half time show. (2)
“Ghetto Gospel” – Now here is one that is totally hard to understand why. Imagian roll''in thru the ‘hood’ bumpin this? Your sh*t is going ta get jacked for sure; could have been much much better. Enough said. (2)
“Black Cotton” – The Outlawz should hang their heads in shame. Eminem on this track just don’t fit; and they should have known that the beat was not a Tupac track. They sound good with their spit, they just need a beat. (2)
“Loyal to the Game” – The flow doesn’t match the beat, and the others on the track are not even in the same ball park skill wise as Tupac, and it shows. And the ultimate insult “ G-Unit in the mutha f**kin house’ like someone would care. It is suppose to be a Tupac album. Who cares if they are in the house? Just cause they there don’t mean they belong. (2)
“Thugs Get Lonely Too” – The first official release, and now we know why. It is probably the most tolerate able track on the album. At least Nate Dogg is on it. The beat is wack but Nate can help carry anything. Pac and Nate sound great; if ya add a beat you could have really had something hear. All in all it is one of the best tracks on the album; thanks to Nate Dogg. (3)
“N.I.G.G.A.” – Another track that needs a beat. (2)
“Who Do You Love’ – Same old tired beat. This is one of the tracks that could have been a great track if not for how it was handled. I can not really see Tupac picking this beat and sitting in the corner writing to this. (2)
"A Crooked Nigga Too" – What can be said that has not been said. (2)
"Don''t You Trust Me?" – Where is the Jewell sound ? A strong female voice? That Death Row influence? Tupac’s ‘strength’ has been stripped on this.This track is really hard to even listen to. (2)
"Hennessey" featuring Obie Trice – Poka time and another nigga who can’t believe he is doing a mix tape with Tupac. Lost a lot of respect for Obie Trice with this.And I believe in trying new things and mixing it up , but squeeze box? Come on. Plus the Shady Records ad didn’t set well. (2)
"Thug 4 Life" – I know that Norah Jones is hott with some but what did they do bring her father Ravi Shankar in to play the sitar? Now Tupac would hear the beat most of the time and write in the corner as Johnny J or who ever layed the track and then Tupac would spit. So the impression is Tupac in the corner; pad and pen, bong lit and sitting in the lotus position writing about what it takes to be a G. Does anyone else see anything wrong here? (2)
Now the BONUS TRACKS
"Po Nigga Blues (Scott Storch Remix)" featuring Ron Isley – Po Nigga Blues OG version is out there and this is not a bad mix but it seems everyone has got to use that generic drum beat. Of course it is nice to hear Ronnie Isley and his sweet sound but this could have been better but a good effort. (2)
"Hennessey (Red Spyda Remix)" featuring E.D.I. of the Outlawz and Sleepy Brown – This is better than the one with the squeeze box. (3)
"A Crooked Nigga Too (Raphael Saadiq Remix)" – For a mix it is good, but not for this album. But it holds it own unlike many of the other tracks on the album. (3)
"Loyal To The Game (DJ Quik Remix)" featuring Big Syke – One of the better mixes and tracks. DJ Quik can relate to Tupac’s music, and of course Big Syke spitting is great to hear. This track did Tupac justice: if there has to be mixes instead of OG versions. Good job. (5)
On a 1 to 10 bases the average for the album is 2.4. It is a shame when the re-mixes carry an album. This is just an expensive mix tape. There are better mix tapes available and they are cheaper. This is a good example of ‘Marketing’ gone wild.