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Roots of Evil

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Album Review

Jay-Z's ghetto anthem "Hard Knock Life" would be a fitting theme song to summarize G Rap's career up to this point. Somehow, G Rap has become an undeserving victim in a nationwide conspiracy designed to keep him from platinum plates. Portraying vivid images of street life, the man from the planet of Queens became world-renown for his cinematic approach to the art of MCing. G Rap's bursts of verbal aggression, intertwined with his trademark off-the-hook lisp, is a major reason why he is widely regarded as an MC's MC by true fans and peers.

Since his last album, G Rap underwent two very critical life decisions that would greatly impact his career. First he left the hustle and bustle of Queens behind and relocated to the blistering desert heat of Arizona. Secondly, tiring of major label hassles and poor promotion, he finally severed all ties with Cold Chillin and started his own label, Ill Street. After a four-year hiatus, it is finally time for the self-professed Godfather of Street Rap to unleash his ferocious appetite for rhyme upon his unsuspecting prey. Sounding reinvigorated after a lengthy layoff, his skills remain completely intact, blazing verse after verse in grand fashion. Standout cuts include the eerie, bass-heavy "One Dark Night," and G lyrically drenches the wavering keyboard of "Mobstas." Also, "Let the Games Begin" and the well-executed "Mafioso" stand out. One of this album's crown jewels, "Thugs Life Story (Chapter I, II, III)," is a nine-minute excursion into the underworld, finding G Rap at unparalleled echelons. Though rarely diverting from his usual topic matter of money, murder, and mayhem, there is a definitive method to his madness. G Rap's intricate storytelling ability and keen attention for detail enables him to flip futuristic tales of criminology in a totally unique fashion.

However, just as the production failed to take his first solo album, 4,5,6, to that next level, the same can be echoed here. It's abundantly clear that G Rap needs to map out a strategically stronger battle plan when searching for just the right tracks to compliment his flow, because that's the only thing holding him back on this album. [Roots of Evil is also available in a release with added bonus tracks.]


Born: 20 July 1968 in Elmhurst, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As part of the golden age MC-and-DJ tandem Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, the "Kool Genius of Rap" enjoyed a successful and, above all, influential run during the late '80s and early '90s before embarking on a fitful solo career. Born Nathaniel Wilson on July 20, 1968, in Queens, New York, Kool G Rap debuted in 1986 on Cold Chillin' Records with the It's a Demo/I'm Fly 12" single, produced by Marley Marl and billed to "DJ Polo & Kool G Rap" (the rapper's name would later come first, before the DJ's). A couple...
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Roots of Evil, Kool G Rap
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