Album: The Reunion
Label: Tommy Boy
Rating: 6.5 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
Though Kool G. Rap is without doubt the early pioneer, it was Mobb Deep in my opinion, who really kicked wide open the door labelled “NY Thug Shit” with the release of ‘Shook Ones Part 2’. Its not hard to see which door CNN chose to walk through. After the release of their debut album “The War Report” in ’97, and two solo joints from Norega, the anticipated reunion album has finally been released on Tommy Boy.
Bear in mind the subject matter when purchasing this album. I really have to be in the right mood to listen to this type of hiphop, and I have to admit that on first listen I couldn’t really get into the album as much as I would have liked simply because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to hear thug lyrics.
On second listen though, I was quite impressed. The beats are pretty hot for most of the album, with a few of the early tracks being real bangers. ‘Phonetime’ has Nore receiving a call from Capone who’s still locked away (almost like a phone version of ‘One Love’ by Nas). ‘Queens’ has a real nice hook from Complexions over a laidback beat produced by the Alchemist. ‘Invincible’ sees CNN cross paths with DJ Premier who laces the duo with one of the dopest beats I’ve heard from the Gang Starr supremo in a while. Also on the first half of the album is mixtape favourite ‘Bang Bang’ – famous for guest Foxy Brown’s ripping of Lil Kim.
I found that things started to go downhill slightly towards the second half of the album, with a few cuts on there that maybe shouldn’t have made it. Two big disappointments were the collabarations with Nas (‘B EZ’) and with Mobb Deep (‘Queens Finest’). I just couldn’t get into these two cuts at all despite the all-star line-ups. Also because of the content it may not be everyone’s kind of thing, but I have to say that overall I enjoyed the album, and it will definitely get some more spins before it goes in the crate.