Artist: Speedy Loc
Album: Cali Thuggin
Year: 2001 (Re-Issued in 2004)
Label: Ghetto Line (Re-Issued on Starz The Limit)
It wasn't until I came across a Speedy Loc track a couple of years ago that I even knew who he was, after hearing the track I was so impressed that I searched his name up on google to find out more about him. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that he had recently passed away due to an un-specified health issue. This album, 'Cali Thuggin' was Speedy's debut album and came out in '01 but was re-issued (with new artwork/bonus tracks) on 'Starz The Limit', the label Speedy and his brother Bugsy created in the memory of a dead homie.
Decoto (Northern California) rapper Speedy Loc's 'Cali Thuggin' album has 15 tracks and it features production from Never, Bugsy, Mr Kee and Kenny G. The first, and title track, "Cali Thuggin" starts off with a guy, who I first thought was Yukmouth (but is actually Seany Sean), introducing the album. The near 5 minute track features 'Black-N-Brown's' Mr Kee along with Low, Nasty Nate and Kutty, all the rappers compliment each other well and the track is pretty sick. The next track, "Look N 2 My Eyez" is a Speedy Loc solo and starts off with a slow eery piano beat followed by Speedy rapping about growing up as a young gangbanger and robbing liquor stores, the track has a mad hook and doesn't fail to capture the listeners full attention. This is followed by "Ghetto Ballin" which features Low, Konvict, Daz Dillinger and JT The Bigga Figga of 'Get Low Records'.
The next track "Another One" samples the beat and mimics the hook of Queen's famous 'Another One Bites The Dust'. The track, which features Lil Corner, Ed Dosia, Keek Dog, Lil Wyno, Hurrikaine J, Low, Young Myth and Never is one of my personal favourites. Every rapper on the track has a mad verse and the hook and production are also quality. Following up is another track that has alot of replay value. It's titled "Hittin Cornerz", the track is all about riding through Decoto streets and with sick verses from Speedy Loc, Diablo and Mr Kee as well as scratching up Cougnut samples for the hook this has all the ingredients for being a crazy track and it doesn't disappoint.
"Car Clubz Ride" is a much more laid-back track than those before it, this being because it is all about relaxing in summer time in the bay, with (as the title suggests) the main focus be on lowriders and car shows. "East Bay Riderz" picks up the pace again with Speedy Loc, C Rite, Tito B, Ed Dosia, Drawz, Lenyo, Keek Dogg and Bandit busting trigger-happy verses one after another, another sick track.
After a short intermission comes "Everyday Thang" and then "Starz The Limit" which is an introduction to the following track, the intro is a very short dedication from Speedy Loc to all the fallen soldiers, on the version I have (re-issue) a voice over cuts in near the end of the track paying respect to Speedy Loc. The haunting "Fallen Soldierz" featuring Keek Dogg follows up. This sombre track is as heartfelt dedication to all their dead homies, I can imagine it would of been hard to record this track but the end product speaks for itself- quality! The tempo is once again lifted with the enjoyable "Savage Thuggz" which is followed by bonus cutz by Bugsy and then "Decoto 2 San Jo".
The final track on the album is called "Spillin Ink" and both the raps and the beat are by John Doe. The track was created in memory of Speedy Loc and it provides a fitting closure to this quality release. It is hard to fault this album, and although I wouldn't call it a classic it is definately worth purchasing if you are a fan of 'Norteno rap' or even just west-coast hip hop in general.
R.I.P. Speedy Loc
Speedy Loc - Another One
Speedy Loc - Hittin Cornerz
Rating: 4 Daytons out of 5