Artist: DJ Clue
Album: The Professional 2
Label: Def Jam
Rating: 8 / 10
Reviewer: DJ MF
DJ Clue. The name itself normally conjures up emotions of hate in many avid followers of hip hop. One of the first mixtape sellers, and a veritable legend in NY hip hop circles, Clue has based his entire career on making albums with loads of hot artists who bestow upon him exclusive freestyles and songs.
While I may not necessarily agree that Clue should have “DJ” in front of his name, I do think this album follows in the same vein as Part One. A nice mix of popular hip hop acts, with accessible beats, and a nice flow.
Now to the nitty gritty.
Done by Puff Daddy, much like Part One, it sucks. Just Puffy talking about how great Clue is. Coincidentally, much like Part One, it doesn’t make me think the rest of the album will be good either.
2) Back 2 Life 2001 – Mary J. Blige And Jadakiss
A remix of sorts of the classic track from the early nineties by Soul II Soul. It keeps the basic beat from the original, and adds an extended acapella portion at the start by Mary J., with Kiss coming in for a verse where he speaks on his women. The singing by Mary is on point, but the rap isn’t up to bar, and I don’t need Clue ruining everything by yelling over the track. I KNOW I bought your damn album Clue, so I don’t need you reminding me over and over.
3) Jay-Z Freestyle
Using the instrumental from ‘Who Shot Ya?’ by Biggie, Jay rips a pretty nice verse. Not sure if it’s an actual freestyle or not, but it’s still solid, with lines like “I burn like Left Eye Lisa Lopez” adding humour to the braggadacio.
4) Who’s Next (X-Clue-Sive) – DMX
I don’t normally feel DMX, but something about this song makes me wanna listen to it over and over. On “Part One”, Clue and X made a banger, and they’ve done the same here. A great dark beat, accentuated by some swirling guitar sounds and some atmospheric sound effects in the background. The lyrics are usual DMX, with the stop start style, and subject matter dealing with guns, etc. I really like the part where the vocals are accentuated with gunshots and match the beat exactly though.
5) Coming For You – Beanie Sigel & Freeway
Uh oh. When I hear a nursery rhyme leading into a song, I know problems lie ahead. The beat sounds like a standard Busta Rhymes beat, with frantic sounding keys, and a staccato background noise. Sigel has never really impressed me, and newcomer Freeway sounds oddly like he’s crying when he raps. Bleh.
6) Fantastic Four Pt. 2 – Sheek, Cam’ron, Nature & Fabolous
They’ve got big shoes to fill with this one. On “Part One”, Fantastic Four featured Cam’ron, Canibus, Nore, and Big Pun. Looking at the roster for Pt. 2, only Nature stands out, so we’ll see what they do. First off, the beat can’t compare to the original. Standard east coast beat, with dark bassline accentuating some operatic strings. Very simple. Nature rips it first, and does so as I expected. The rest can’t carry his or anyone elses’ jock strap. A dissapointment.
7) Getting It – Busta Rhymes & Rah Digga
WOW. This beat is jacked. It starts up, and it’s just electric for lack of a better word. Sounds like it’s going to explode. And then it slows down for some crazy reason. Not saying the beat is bad mind you, just a let down from what the intro hinted at. Listenin to it again, it really is a good beat, and fits perfectly with Busta and Rah. I’ve never felt Busta too much, but in my mind he’s improved. The real treat is Rah on this one, as she rips it with too many metaphors and lines to write down.
8) Cream 2001 – Raekwon and Ghostface Killah
Damn. That’s the first thing I thought looking at the title. There’s NO way this lives up to the original CREAM by the Wu. And you know what? I was right. The beat is NOTHING like the original, and sounds jiggy of all things. Way too overproduced. If they wanted to remake CREAM, they should have toned it down. The lyrics for the most part are on point, with Ghost stealing the show as usual with his stream of consciousness flow. Not worthy of the title.
9) What The Beat – Method Man, Eminem and Royce Da 5’9
I love this cut. Brilliant lyrics, and a simple yet really effective beat.A piano loop strung around a basic beat, and that’s it. I’d normally be kinda critical of something like that, but it does it’s job and let’s the MC’s shine, which with this lineup is a good thing. Meth starts and RIPS his verse, and ends it by commenting on George W., “now that Bush is president, n#$ga we all through”. Em is up next and does his usual crazy style, with the subject this time being the fact that people are blaming him for the actions of his fans. A fun verse. And then Royce comes in and finishes it off more than strong, ending his verse with a very nice inhale/exhale kind of verse. Stunning.
10) Lil’ Mo Interlude
Lil’ Mo singing about how great Clue is. Fast forward.
11) Fuck A Bitch – Snoop Dogg & Kurupt
The strains of “West west y’all” opens this cut, and you get just that, with a pretty interesting beat. Synth keys looped around a super heavy bassline that you need to hear in a system to believe. Snoop leads off,and it’s the usual bragging ish. It ain’t Nate on the chorus, but it’s still funny nonetheless, albeit misogynistic. Kurupt then jumps in and does his thing. To be honest, I’ve never felt Kurupt to much, and this is another one of those times. His flow just doesn’t seem right for beats like this.
12) Change the Game Remix – Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek, DPG
The second single from the Dynasty LP remixed. That is, if you think a remix is just using the same beat, but with a couple of guests and new verses. The beat is the EXACT same as the original. Crazily enough, Kurupt comes off REALLY nice on this cut. I mean, I think he rips it better than everyone else. Actually, even Daz kills it, making the DPG members the highlight of this cut. Jay does his normal thing, and Sigel should’ve stuck to his original verse. Memphis provides the other highlight with a dis towards Mobb Deep with the line, “your clique ain’t too thoro to mention we”. Interesting stuff for that alone.
13) My Niggaz Dem -Trick Daddy & Trina
Straight up this song doesn’t belong on this. It’s like they wanted to rep the south too, and decided to just slop it on. The song is alright, but nothing special. Trina has a decent verse, but it could just be my bias, since I think she’s hot :). The beat is your standard southern bouncy ish.
14) Live From The Bridge – Nas
Sweeeet. I don’t know where this violin or organ or whatever is from, but it is absolutely awesome. It starts the track and runs throughout, providing the bassline for the track. I can’t describe it, but I highly recommend listening to it. As for the lyrics and the rest of the cut, it’s probably the most solid on the LP in my opinion. Nas brings a style that’s part Esco, part Nasty, and it works amazingly. Highlight line of the track- “I make Hillary leave Bill quick as lightning, I’ll have her wearing tight jeans, giving nice brains, in a white Range”. Killer.
15) So Hot -Foxy Brown
A cool beat. Very slow, and has hints of a reggae vibe. And not failing me, Foxy throws some patois in there too. Her lyrics ain’t nothing to amaze over though, although she does get a good line in there about Lil’ Kim, saying “I’m the reason why b#$ches buy fake t#ts”.
16) Chinatown – Lil Kim Featuring Junior Mafia & Lil Cease
Some oriental keys open this, and run throughout. Add in some layered vocals in the background, and some decent drums. Kim brings it pretty raw here, so I gotta give her props. The problem arises when Junior Mafia and Cease jump in. They simply stink, and wouldn’t have careers if they hadn’t been afilliated with Biggie in the past. Oh well.
17) Bathgate Freestyle
Beat sounds familiar. I’ve heard it on the Sunz of Man LP but it could have been used elsewhere as well. Bathgate is nothing special. Next.
18) M.A.R.C.Y. – Memphis Bleek Featuring Geda K
Looks like they’re trying to make an anthem for Memph looking at the title.And yup, it’s got a sing-a-long chorus as you’d expect.The beat is grating. I don’t like it. It’s got some decent drums, accentuated by a horrible electronic noise. Nothing else really. Memph is like a low grade Jay-Z. A very low grade Jay-Z. He’s trying hard, but he just doesn’t have anything to make him stand out.
19) I Don’t Care – Capone & Noreaga
Nice start. A rolling piano loop, and some orchestration in the background with violins for the chorus. A pretty hot beat actually. Standard Nore vocals, hype but not exactly the most intelligent, and Capone I’ve never felt, and don’t now either.
20) The Best Of Queens (It’s Us) – Mobb Deep
Classic Mobb. Chimes for the beat, and a crazy bassline. Sounds like something that could have belonged on “Hell On Earth”. P always kills it, and this ain’t no different. Havoc does a great job too. You can guess the lyric content by the title of the song. Of note though- Prodigy answers Bleek on this track, saying “Yeah yeah yeah, I ain’t Roccing with you neither b$%ch”. Subliminal? No. Gonna lead to some good battle tracks? Hopefully.
21) RED – Redman
Crazy. That’s the only way to describe this. A jacked flute sample screams above this track, and the drums and bass sound reminiscent of Rockwilder. Red does his usual braggadacio and funny metaphor ish, and it works perfectly with this frantic beat. You really need to hear this.
22) Dangerous -Muggs & Lady Luck
I still don’t know who Muggs is, and he was on “Part One”. I DO know he ain’t the Muggs from Cypress Hill, so I’ma call him a chump for taking such a recognized name for himself. Lady Luck comes off pretty nice on this, but she’s nothing special, and Muggs just plain sucks. The beat is interesting with an electronic flute or something like that running in the background. Nothing special.
23) Phone Patch -Ty Shaun
Uses ‘Incarcerated Scarfaces’ for the instrumental, and like the title would suggest, the freestyle sounds phoned in. Not bad.
For sure, there are stinkers on this, but I think the good outweighs the bad in the end, much like Part One. One thing to note though- Clue yells over songs throughout the entire freakin LP. I don’t know why he feels the need to do this, but it angers me. If you can put up with that, you’ll find an album that’s worth your float.