label: Sony Music
compilation featuring: Nas, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, Cormega, MC Shan, Nature, Tragedy, Bravehearts's, others.
website: qbfinest.com
tracklisting
1. Jungle & Wiz "Intro"
2. Nas, Capone, Mobb Deep, tragedy, Nature, MC Shan, Marley Marl, Cormega and Millennium Thug "Da Bridge 2001"
3. Havoc, Big Noyd, Shanté "We Life This"
4. Nas & Ruc "Real Niggas"
5. Nas "Find Ya Wealth"
6. Jungle, Cormega & Poet "Straight Outta Q.B."

7. Bravehearts's "Oochie Wally"

8. Capone-N-Noreaga & Iman Thug "Our Way"
9. Nature "Fire"
10. freestyle interlude featuring Prodigy "Power Rap"
11. Nas & Pop "Street Glory"
12. Lord Black, Littles, Craig G. and Chaos "We Break Bread"
13. Mr. Challish "Money"
14. Prodigy & Nas "Self Conscious"
15. Infamous Mobb "Die 4"
16. Nas, Braveheart's and Millennium Thug "Kids In Da PJ's"
17. Nas & Millennium Thug "Teenage Thug"

 

While Queensbridge is making it, bitches is faking it. The QB has been a brand name for good thug-streets-projects hip hop for some years now, with acts like Mobb Deep or Nas being at the forefront of hip hop's attention. It's either the mentality or the strong loyalty of people putting other peeps on, that had a whole army of soldiers follow the paths paved. And so, almost like a virus, cats been popping up on each others records, repping their borough, and making Queensbridge a household name.

And collectively these cats gather for the first real song, after we bypassed a track, that gives love to other projects, as it runs down a list of housing areas. But the posse then rushes you, turning the love onto the home stomping ground, with Nas, Capone, Mobb Deep, tragedy, Nature, MC Shan, Marley Marl, Cormega and Millennium Thug using the classic "The Bridge" beat for their "Da Bridge 2001". Of course they don't pick up the beef with KRS, but L.E.S. hooked this up in true pride fashion. The Juice Crew is also featured on "We Live This" as (Roxanne) Shanté spits along Havoc and Big Noyd. And surprisingly enough she comes off correct, almost outshining the other two. Or maybe it's the respect we have for her, like for one of our aunts, that let us listen more closely, when she addresses other female emcees, as well as her own status.

The mastermind behind this record, Nas, appears again on "Real Niggas", but lets Ruc do the rhyming, while he sticks to the paying homage to 'real niggas' during the chorus. Nas stays around for "Find Ya Wealth", on that he once more addresses his change from Nasty to Nastradamus. That's interesting, as if he'd be totally confident with it himself, he wouldn't excuseingly explain it so often. This, with an okay beat, leads us to the adaptation of N.W.A's "Straight Outta Compton", here being called "Straight Outta Q.B." of course. Cormega, Jungle and Poet are keeping much within the structure of the original. And while it not being very impressive and it's unsure with how much respect they treated this classic, the result could have been much worse, this actually being okay.

But "Oochie Wally" is more than just wack. It's disgustingly stupid, with a crap EZ Elpee beat, a ridiculously annoying hook and Braveheart's rambling does not save the day. This can't be said about "Our Way", as Grand Wizard Scott Storch works his magic and Capone-N-Noreaga still got the chemistry that got 'em the success in the first place.

The honor of having one of the few solo tracks is handed to Nature with "Fire", but he is held back with a popish beat, that combines some of the trends of late, to result in something that tastes like excessively chewed gum. On the lyrical tip, he goes for the braggadocios and does not fail at that. Or he makes it work like the nice and downplayed Havoc beat on "Power Rap", a freestyled Prodigy track.

L.E.S. then does something more musical and appealing on "Street Glory", a Nas & Pop track, Nas doing some reporting of what happens around the way. To our liking, another legend enters the arena on "We Break Bread", with Craig G rhyming with the newcomers Lord Black, Littles and Chaos (where do these people get these highly original names, I wonder?). Still he can't shine too bright, as "Money" fail to shine, with Mr. Challish doing the rhyming, and the Alchemist cooked up the beat. He falls short to do something of the quality that Mike 'Trauma' D. and Jugrnaut of the Infinite Arkatechz get going on "Self Conscience". Seasoned cats Prodigy and Nas are doing a reality check, do a sit down and thinkingly go through their surroundings, making sure who they are associated with.

Things go the to be expected route again on "Die 4", an Infamous Mobb track, with an unexciting Plain Truth production. Working better is the second Infinite Arkatechz beat, that Nas, Braveheart's and Millennium Thug use to talk about the "Kids In Da PJ's", or remembering how it was when they themselves were just that. And you wonder if these cats are any happier now, with their claimed wealth, hardness and street smarts, than they were back then. This album then ends with the logical continuance, as "Teenage Thugs", a bonus track, has Nas and Millennium Thug doing some spitting.

To no one's surprise, this record gave us what was to be expected: pure QB flavor, with all the gun barrels, back ave's, thugs and leafless trees. And this expectancy, also makes it easy to say who will enjoy this: all those that already like other QB releases. It's as simple as that. But that also means, that with the often stagnant production, the lyrical revisits, it will be hard for it to recruit any fans outside of the already committed audience.

review: tadah the byk

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