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Kiss of Death

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Album Review

The most startling thing about Kiss of Death is that Jadakiss dumped a bunch of Neptunes productions and kept only "Hot Sauce to Go," one of the record's poorest tracks. This, along with a particularly ill-suited "soft and smooth track for the ladies" featuring a carted-in Mariah Carey as well as a too-familiar-sounding Scott Storch production, is thankfully the only outright blights on an otherwise satisfactory showing. These issues aside, Jadakiss makes good on his promise to become a rounded lyricist and receives some valuable help in the form of tight production work from a handful of pros — surprisingly enough, Swizz Beatz's work on "Real Hip Hop" tops anything that producer did for Cassidy's debut, and the Red Spyda-manned title track (bizarrely tucked near the end) is Jadakiss' most vicious track yet. No matter the number of bright moments, you can't help but feel that Jadakiss has his best days ahead of him. For further proof, listeners looking to go deeper are strongly advised to seek out The Champ Is Here, a teaser mix presented by Big Mike and Green Lantern. Provided you can stomach the Will Smith version of Cassius Clay proclaiming "The champ is here!" about every 30 seconds (Jada's cackle could've been kept in check a little more, too), you should find that it's actually superior to this fine record.


Born: 27 May 1975 in Yonkers, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Jadakiss (born Jason Phillips) became a member of the Ruff Ryders in 1999. Five years earlier, he joined the LOX (who started their saga as a group called the Warlocks) and has remained a member of both groups since. Jadakiss released his debut solo album, Kiss tha Game Goodbye, in August 2001 on the Ruff Ryders/Interscope label. Three years later, second album Kiss of Death was...
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Kiss of Death, Jadakiss
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