Label: SMC Recordings
This debut from a Bay Area supergroup lives up to the hype even as it defies expectations. Perhaps due to the presence of the more hard-edged emcee Messy Marv, the album lacks the gleeful euphoria of many hyphy releases. Tracks such as "Reloaded" and "Cool N*gg*" are dark, revisiting many of the themes of late-'90s Bay Area mob music as they seem to grasp for a more singular sound. The production matches the tone, utilizing electro embellishments to add nuance rather than conjure bombast. Even the banger, "Cus Cus," has a sinister streak as Messy remembers selling crack outside of the club.