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Album Review

This is the last recorded effort of Just-Ice (although he appears to take around three years between albums). Still, it's nothing to get excited about — Just-Ice is still full of piss and swagger but he's never developed into a storyteller or rhyme cruncher of real interest and the hardcore raps on offer here come from a man who helped invent the gangsta style but now sounds desperately out of time. As ever, he's backed by beats-by-numbers and his label obviously didn't want to spend money on samples, as the music here is, for the most part, colorless. Considering that Just-Ice's former producer Kurtis Mantronic also appears to be on the unemployment line these days, perhaps someone could engineer a reunion. It's worked for old rockers so why not old rappers?


Born: 22 June 1962 in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '10s

A former bouncer at punk clubs, Joseph Williams, Jr. was the first of the New York rappers to embrace gangsta rap, and when he burst out of Ft. Greene, Brooklyn as Just-Ice, he gained instant notoriety. Muscle-bound, tattooed, aggressive -- he resembled Mike Tyson in more than just looks -- and with a mouthful of gold teeth, he certainly stood out. His debut album Back to the Old School proved he was more than just a pretty face. It came out on the independent New York label Sleeping Bag, and certainly...
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VII, Just-Ice
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