This beings bangin' with 'Lift It', but like most E-40 projects, it lacks quality control and there are just too many songs that aren't hitting at a high enough level to rank this too highly. 'Stop Actin Like A Weirdo' has a goofy hook. 'Off That Mob' has likeable production but that hook gets annoying... "I GREW OFF OF THAT MOB!" Overall, I can't be too critical though as it's a consistently good album, but after about four spins, as I said, not enough jumps out at me.
Best Tracks: Lift It, High-End, The Game, Pressure, Succaz, Get My Life Right
This is a compilation of some tracks that were intended for the double album from Nas titled, 'I Am… The Autobiography', that ended up on 'I Am', Nastradamus' and 'The Lost Tapes' with a couple of others thrown in, but there's no way this is better than the released 'I Am...' It's missing the best from that underappreciated album like: 'Nas Is Like', 'Undying Love', 'Favor for a Favor', 'Hate Me Now', 'N.Y. State Of Mind II'...I could go on. But it keeps weaker songs like 'Money Is My Bitch' and 'Dr. Knockboot'. I've never loved 'Project Window' or 'Poppa Was a Playa'. 'Day Dreamin' Stay Schemin'' is a weak song by Nas' standards mainly due to the hook.
It would've been amazing if Nas and the label could've worked together to come up with the double disc release of what 'I Am… The Autobiography' was originally going to look like before the leaks but as one disc it just feels incomplete and like another tease.
Best Tracks: Fetus, Small World, Sometimes I Wonder, Drunk by Myself, Blaze a 50
As expected, this is a long way off Pooh's best and unfairly overlooked albums from the '90s, but it's more consistently decent than his previous 2001 effort. The tail of the album is fairly strong where Pooh gets more conscious as it finishes sampling the amazing 'Free' by Deniece Williams on 'Free'. Some of the production on songs like 'Bang' is weak and sounds dated for a 2014 release. There are many nicely sung hooks that work well. I've had this album spinning for a while and it never gets annoying or too boring, but at the same time, there isn't a lot that is memorable or that stands out from the crowd.
Best Tracks: Let a Beast On, Speaking My Mind, Players Life, Pray for Me, Free
After a great effort with 'Extinction Level Event 2' in 2020, this album is back going in the wrong direction and more like the quality of his worst project, 'Back on My B.S.'. There are many wack features, some disappointing trend hopping, sometimes the songs sound poorly mastered or something, not enough of the production works to a high enough level with some lazy sampling, and there are poor hooks (see Coi Leray and Busta on 'Luxury Life').
Best Tracks: The Statement, Slide
Earlier in the year (2023) I was revisiting Busta's discography and I got to this and stopped after having it originally rated at 1.5/5. After he dropped his new album, 'BLOCKBUSTA', I've decided to finish the job. The opener is okay with Busta rapping well, but the repeating, "make some noise", is annoying and ruins it. 'Til We Die' tries to get the listener amped the f... up and works well. 'Do That Thing' has production that sounds like something from 'The Big Bang' album. 'Make It Look Easy' has a '90s feel with 'Blues and Pants' by James Brown being sampled that was on so many '90s rap songs. 'Grind Real Slow' is kind of a sexy. There is an enjoyable feature on 'King Tut' from Reek Da Villian that is the standout track. 'Love-Hate' is a decent pop rap tune. All in all, this is better than I remember it being and it was an improvement from 'Back on My B.S.'. The main issues are the sequence from 'Wine & Go Down', 'Movie' to 'Crazy', that are skips, and that it's almost all forgettable. I gave this a number of listens and there is nothing that sticks with me but the consistency is okay.
Best Tracks: Til We Die, King Tut