label: island def jam

producers: various

1. Janet Jackson "Doesn't Really Matter"
2. Jaÿ-Z feat. Memphis Bleek, Amil "Hey Papi"
3. Musiq "Just Friends (Sunny)"
4. Jayo Felony "Hotta Than Fish Grease"
5. Method Man "Evin If"
6. DMX feat. Dyme "I'm Gonna Crawl"
7. Brian McKnight "Thinkin' 'Bout Me"
8. Dru Hill presents Jazz "Here With Me"
9. Kandice Love "No You Didn't Say"
10. Eve "Let Me Be"
11. Shorty 101 "Get With Me"
12. Montell Jordan "Do Your Remember (Once Upon A Time)"
13. Sisqo feat. Foxy Brown "Thong Song Uncensored"
14. Redman & Eminem "Off The Wall"
15. R. Kelly "Just A Touch"
16. Sneak Preview from LL Cool J's New Album "G.O.A.T."


Keeping it in the family. Usually that means, only letting other people from your crew, clique or posse be on your album as guest rhymes, producers or DJs. In the case of the "Nutty Professor - The Klumps" soundtrack, 'keeping it in the family' means 'keeping in the company', as this is some Def Jam roaster exhibition (with notable exceptions), rather than anything else. Yes, that roaster is deep, and it's full of artists we enjoy listening to. But a record like this, still has the bitter taste of it simply intending a promotional tool, and not a quality soundtrack.

Janet Jackson, a non Def Jam artist, opens the compilation with "Doesn't Really Matter". She plays a part in the movie, what is quite remarkable that someone gave her a chance after the 'Poetic Justice' debacle. This track on the other hand is not a debacle, although the chorus works a little better than the rest of the cut. She's still able to get something together that can get your hip in motion, and the track even got the quality to get stuck in your head, with this catchy hook. Things switch to the rap field with "Hey Papi" by Ja˙-Z feat. Memphis Bleek & Amil, that's driven by a surprisingly weak Timbaland production. He puts too much emphasis on the wanna be Swizz drum, burring the musical instruments so deep, that you can only properly hear them on the instrumental outro of the track. Well, the intention probably was to do another "It's Hot (Some Like It Hot)", what is falls horribly short of achieving. Still, it gets worse: even Ja˙ sounds uncomfortable, as he's flow is nonexistent, and his voice does not really communicate with the beat.

Quite organic, Musiq's "Just Friends" is pretty nice. His voice is not that remarkable, as isn't his singing talent, but the music by Ivan 'Orthodox' Barias and Carvin Haggins of Jazzy Jeff's A Touch Of Jazz production imprint, created a grooving backdrop, that's fast enough to dance to, and slow enough to chill to. However, the hook for Jayo Felony's "Hotta Than Fish Grease" is horrible. Straight up disgusting. And it prevents all possible intent, to check out the rest of the braggadocios lyrics, or the bass heavy trunk beat by DJ Silk, that both are solid. And what got into Method Man to do "Even If"? I mean, this is the same guy that did "Tical". And this is on some bouncy, club friendly, bubble gum. P. King 'The Specialist' stripped the Meth from all ruggedness. Damn.

Will it be DMX who turns around this compilation? Well, if you enjoy what he has been doing for three albums straight, as this is nothing remotely new but his tried and tested formula. The chorus of "I'm Gonna Crawl" sounds exactly like "Let Me Fly", and the keyboard heavy beat, like an amalgam of his best known track, minus the energy. Scarily enough, again the R'n'B track is more appealing than the rap on here: Sure, Brian McKnight goes the R. Kelly route, but his "Thinkin' 'Bout Me" is a solid slow track, that features a sing along chorus, and will probably fit well in one of the romantic scenes of the movie or being played during the end credits. There's even some intensity being built, and so it gets our thumb up. Same goes for "Here With Me", by Dru Hill's Jazz. A musical piano is guiding him through the track, with only a little stupidity being shown with the chorus' content, it being too stereotypical.

Still, compared to the rap tracks we have yet heard, this is butter. And also Kandice Love is doing her track with confidence, as "No You Didn't Say" is another solid mid-tempo tune, that reminds us of the days, shortly before R'n'B decided it might be a good idea singing over rap beats. Eve then tries to save the reputation of the rhyme spitters with her "Let Me Be". The keyboard intro is aight, still in the end, the keyboard sound is getting too synthetic to fully please. Eve in the mean time talks to all those that are envy, those that question her, those that throw jealousy in her direction. And she utilizes her talent well, to talk about this situation with here and there interesting lines, and only the hook, and a few arrogant rhymes, are giving away, that this is still not as nice as it could have been. Dunno, how nice Shorty 101 could be. However, she ends up sounding like a voiceless Aaliyah, or a sunburned Christian Aguilera. Rodney 'Dark Child' Jenkins' musical offering only lives for the chorus sake. This track sounds thrown together, with weak backup singers and 'cashing in on trend' voice alteration.

A mistake that Montell Jordan does not commit. While it's not easier to do a slow and romantic track, than doing something mid-tempo, his "Do You Remember" sounds much more natural than the song heard before this one. Again, this is appealing. And very appealing is "Thong Song Uncensored" by Sisqo feat. Foxy Brown. Now don't get it twisted: this track is hot. Period. The music is absolutely brilliant, how Sisqo rides the track is great, the whole thing is catchy, and the content is scandalous enough to turn your mom's head, and make your girl frown at you. Foxy Brown drops by to lend some voice overs, that are annoy you during the second chorus, and her rhyming, or better what she considers to be rhyming, is constantly biting, what Sisqo did better, and so she can't live up to the dopeness of the track, while also not managing to spoil it.

A strange pairing is then following: Redman & Eminem are blessing us with "Off The Wall", that is just that. At least on the lyrical tip, as both Red nor Em are lacing us with what satisfies our expectations of two of the best emcees out there. But the Erick Sermon production can't live up to the word venom, it being a confusing bubble popping type something. Next up, and officially ending this is R. Kelly with "Just A Touch". He left the choir at home, and did a solid and straight R'n'B piece, that confirms, that the R'n'B on here is better than the rap tracks. But as hinted on, this is not the end, as there's an extra bonus featured on here: we get a 'sneak preview' of LL Cool J's "G.O.A.T." album, in the form of a seven minute plus 'snippet tape substitute'.

review: tadah the byk

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