I don't know what is more surprising -- that 101st Airbourne Productions has released another album, or that it's not *totally* wack. There is a hint of potential to SOK's Nut Casez that may be worth fanning from a spark to a flame - if they have the right tools to do it with.
Vocally, SOK is much improved over his compadres. His voice actually has a rough edge to it, and the energy of his delivery is above the average. He sounds like a more angry, less funny version of Eminem. There's the downside - even though his style has potential, it's sort of wasted on the basically uninteresting lyrics that he kicks. You can find Brotha Lynch Hung or Ganksta Nip tapes that do the same steez, except better.
What really kills SOK's potential to shine is not his marginal lyrics though but the production of 101st Airbourne. Even though the beats sound mostly original on this album, they lack any kind of punch or kick. Even a played out TR-808 machine would have been nice to provide some fat bottom to his joints. The only track that comes close to having this kind of roughness is "SICC Thoughts" but the sound levels are even rougher than an early RZA 4-track demo - HARD to listen to.
A word to the wise at 101st Airbourne - you've got a decent rapper here, if he takes the time to develop some rhymes and you take the time to develop some skills at putting him out behind the board. Go with this kid; keep working on his shit because you MIGHT hit on something fat eventually. But please; leave the straight jacks like "2nd Round Knock Out" on "Let's Get It On" alone. How could you do that TWICE on two different albums? That's WACK.
Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 3 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 3.5 of 10
Originally posted: April 11, 1999