Saturday, January 28, 2006

Review: Nitro - Welcome To The Jungle

Artist: Nitro
Album: Welcome To The Jungle
Year: 2001
Label: I.P.M. Records

Nitro is a rapper/producer who hails from the mid-west state of Oklahoma, the home of hip hop artists such as Big Bur-Na and Playa 1000. I first heard of Nitro on the "Turf Stories" compilation that Ruthless Records/C-Note Records put out in 1999, Nitro featured on 4 of the tracks on the compilation and he was pretty impressive. A year later Nitro released "Nitro Entertainment Presents: Hustlin' Pays" (which is available on pictured cover vinyl). The album featured artists such as Lady Ace, Boy Dogg, Buccet Loc and many more, it was released on Columbia Records . This album, "Welcome To The Jungle" came out at the end of 2001 and features 19 tracks, with the total running time amounting to 1 hour, 11 minutes and 19 seconds.

The first track on this album, "Welcome To The Jungle", is the title track and it is also probably my pick as the best on the album. The lengthy (7:13) track features E.B., Ace Deuce, Pype Bomb, Lil' Joe, Young Scrap, Chief and Polo and can be described as hip hop's version of the classic Guns N Roses track. By the end of the first track you can already gauge whether you will like the album or not, I personally love it. The production throughout the album is hard-hitting and has a southern feel to it and the title track is no exception. This marathon track ends with a sample from the movie "The Hurricane", the listeners are then greeted with "Bottom Line" which is pretty good followed by a skit and then "Look At You" which isn't bad although definately not one of my favourites, mainly because I don't like the singing in the hook.

Up next is the track "You Got Me..." which was produced by Lil Jon and features Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz. I'm not into Lil Jon but I've got to admit, his production is pretty good, although his screaming throughout this track is a bit annoying. Overall it is still a decent track. This track is followed by a skit about a guy getting played by his bitch, a good introduction to the next track - "Some Of Ya'll" featuring Kano and Quint Black (who was signed to Too $hort Records). I love this track, the hook is simple but effective and all three rappers verses about scandalous bitches are sick.

Following on, "Going Through A Thang", "Holla Atcha" and "Hennessy (Last Call") are all decent tracks, although except for the later none of them get alot of play in my stereo. "Live My Life" is one of my personal favourites, the track features Chief and it is about lifes struggles. It is alot slower-paced than the majority of the album, Nitro has alot of worthwhile things to say in this track, definately the track with the most meaning. A line out of this track that I love (which funnily enough has little meaning) is; " "Can I holler at you?" - Yes, you may - we straight watered out like Bobby Boucher". The hook for this track is subdued and suits the track perfectly as does the production, which for this track was handled by Kano.

Appart from "Busta Free", "Party With Me" (which was also produced by Lil Jon and features Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz.) and "They Don't Love Us", the remaining tracks are nothing exceptional, although they're not shit either. The three tracks I mentioned above are all pretty mad, especially "They Don't Love Us" which features Chief, Tre '2' Gunz and Young Fool (R.I.P.). All the rappers do their part (as does Keytek as producer) to make this track memorable, the hooks pretty cool as well. "Bitches don't really love us, they love the gangsta shit that we doooo// Bitches don't really love us, they love the gangsta shit we intooo"

The main negative this album has are there are too many hooks with singing in them, something I'm rarely a fan of. Overall this is a solid release and one I'm glad I own, the positives far out-weight the negatives. Nitro proves he's capable to rap on a range of topics and Nitro's volatile delivery commands the listeners attention and although he may not be the most lyrically complex rapper out there, I rate him highly and after checking out the music video to "I Wish A Mothafucka Would" I'm keen to check out his new album.

Nitro Ft E.B., Ace Deuce, Pype Bomb, Lil' Joe, Young Scrap, Chief, Polo - Welcome To The Jungle

Rating: 3 and a Half Daytons out of 5

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