In a time where New York City has virtually become a ghost town Hip-Hop wise, one of the top five dead or alive attempts to pump some life back into the rotten apple.
Jason Phillips [Click for Jadakiss interview] better known to the world as Jadakiss, Al-Qaeda Jada, J to the Muah, or just simply Jada finally returns with his long awaited third solo album and Def Jam debut, The Last Kiss (which is far from his last album by any means).
The Yonkers resident gets his star-studded feature affair underway with the musical introduction of ‘Pain & Torture’ (one of the few songs that he goes it alone).
From there, he gets into the Swizz Beatz-produced ‘Who’s Real’ featuring OJ Da Juiceman.
Some MC pairings can be a good thing, and sometimes it can go awry, and in the case of this one, OJ’s stock probably dropped a few more points if it didn’t already, as he fails miserably in a dismal attempt to match wits with a seasoned lyricist.
Fellow Y.O. native Mary J. Blige lends her soulful tone to ‘Grind Hard’ (which contains elements of Nas’ ‘Hero’). The king of adlibs Young Jeezy joins the fray on ‘Something Else’ (produced by Don Cannon), [Click to read Don Cannon interview] as the two rappers trade typical braggadocio lines with Jadakiss edging out his label mate from down South.
‘One More Step’ happens to be one of the more catchier songs on the album that happens to feature LOX brethren Styles P, as they both bounce off each other line-for-line showing that their chemistry is infinite.
Nas makes an appearance on ‘What If,’ as both MC’s play off Jadakiss’ ‘Why’ theme. Jadakiss: “What if the LOX would’ve signed to Suge/what if Puffy never signed us/what if Oprah made those comments like Imus/what if you designed this/thought like I did/said it like this/what if Peyton was fightin’ dogs instead of Mike Vick.”
Nas: “What if Saddam hung Bush/what if ‘One Mic’ was called ‘One Hook’/what if the bridge never showed me how to hold a weapon/what if I ran up in that sick chick with no protection.”
The Slums of Shaolin takes a detour, and heads right to D-Block as Ghostface Killah and Raekwon add a little Wu-Tang influence on the well-produced ‘Cartel Gathering.’
In usual Clan fashion, both Staten Island MC’s bring that one of a kind originality to the record, while Jadakiss plays off of their previous album titles with lines like, “My clientele is supreme, and it’s proven/that I’m only built for the link if it’s Cuban/I’m a pioneer, I’m not a vet/last kiss if a French one/it’s not a peck.”
The obligatory Lil Wayne feature comes on ‘Death Wish,’ as the “so-called” greatest rapper alive rambles through his lines like he jotted them down right before he got in the booth.
Jada seals his kiss with other contributions like the Pharrell-featured ‘Stress Ya’ and ‘Rocking With The Best,’ the eerie sounds of ‘Come And Get Me’ featuring Sheek Louch [Click to read Sheek Louch interview] and S.I., ‘Smoking Gun’ featuring new songstress Jazmine Sullivan, and the hypnotizing sounds of ‘Letter To B.I.G.’ featuring Faith Evans.
Jadakiss’ The Last Kiss album is more of balancing act of trying to appeal to people who actually still spend money on buying albums, and the people who don’t buy albums, but still support him (if that makes any sense).
Obviously some of the features are geared more towards the MTV crowd, rather than thugs crowed on a street corner.
Even so, Jadakiss still manages to keep his gritty edge, while compromising a tad bit just keep in tune with what happens to be popular right now in today’s music industry—and having the ability to do that without sounding flat-out corny is always a sign of being top five dead or alive…