“Class By Myself” – Review of Havoc’s The Kush
It's been a fairly bumpy ride for those Mobb Deep boys. After releasing less than stellar material since their sole platinum album Murda Muzik and receiving backlash from fans for their move to 50 Cent's G-Unit camp, it seems like the Queensbridge duo's chance of rekindling any former glory is unlikely. As the more versatile side of the group, Havoc's bone-chilling production has kept his lifeline pumping over the years as the Mobb grows older. After fourteen years in the game, a solo debut is all but unheard of. Nevertheless, Hav manages to deliver on age old promises with the aptly titled The Kush - an intoxicating batch of mood music and blatant thuggery that eventually wears off leaving the listener with munchies for more.
As master of the occult, The Kush's entire makeup consists of the dark gritty vibes that Havoc has made his forte throughout his career. The energetic rhythm of the lead single "I'm The Boss" is sure to be blaring through the speakers of the local hood spot near you real soon, and the hypnotizing "NY 4 Life" and 40 Glocc featured "By My Side" is potent murder material that strengthens the album.
But when Havoc's stagnant flow gets drowned amidst repetitive production and topics, Kush's high comes down a bit. The dragging bassline of "Balling Out" fails to support the lofty claims of Hav and Un Pachino, and the play-it-by-the-numbers tough talk of "Get Off My Dick" ends the album on relatively sour note. Sadly the Mobb Deep collabo, "Set Me Free," comes in as another low point where Hav supplies an irritating arrangement of eerie sound effects and Prodigy drops a sloppy 16 which comes off as uninspired. Thankfully the ode to loyalty "Be There" with its melodic Jackson 5 sample helps balance out some of the monotony.
Although a far cry from Hell On Earth and Murda Muzik, where he produced superior beats with quality rhymes to match, The Kush dispels any notions that Havoc is null and void in the game. With Hav and Prodigy both dropping albums worth checking for this year, a rejuvanated Mobb Deep project is a strong possibility. Hopefully they won't forget the fine-tuning.
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