Outsidaz :: The Bricks
Label: RuffLife Records
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
There's no question that as far as talent goes, the Outsidaz are easily
one of rap's deepest crews. Affiliated members like Rah Digga and Eminem
have each gone on to success as soloists, and group members like Young
Zee and Pace Won have each had success with 12 inch singles and albums
that are widely bootlegged on the internet.
After the success of their recent "Nightlife" EP and the slamming lead
single "The Rah Rah" by the aforementioned Pace Won, the expectations would
be that this album is all that and a bag of chips. It's definitely a bag
of chips, but the taste is kinda flat - either somebody at the plant forgot
to salt it or your boy already opened it and left it sitting out for a week.
It's not because D.U., Nawshis, Azz-Iz, Yah Yah, Denzy and Axe don't
combine with the stars Zee and Pace well; or that the cameo appearances
from Rah Digga to Redman (New Jersey definitely in the house) are
not on hit. There's just something not quite there though - as though
the album failed to pick up on the momentum of the EP and carry it forward.
This is a 15 track album with three interludes, an intro, and a remix
from the EP. Thankfully one of the interludes combines with an actual
song, but that's still only 11 tracks of new material.
Now there's no reason a small selection of cuts can't make a large impact.
Think of any Eric B. & Rakim album, or "Dead Serious" by Das EFX -
you can serve up 8 slamming cuts out of 10 and walk away with a classic.
Outsidaz can't even heat up more than three or four though; among them
the piano laced "Sign of the Power", the remix of the previous EP's "Money
Money Money", the Method Man and Redman duet "Who You Be" and the crossover
minded "I'm Leavin'" with Kelis and Rah Digga.
Some rappers can carry an album with weak production on the strength
of their personalities alone; but when Pace Won is dropping strong solo
singles like "Sunroof Top" there's no reason to expect to hear him rap
with his crew over anything less - let alone the rest of their membership.
No one producer is to blame. Govmattic, Self-Service, and Young Zee all
have opportunities to shine and each fail to bring the heat. This crew
could have easily made the kind of noise that extended family member
Eminem did with his group D-12 if not more; instead they serve up a
lukewarm offering that will merely leave their fans hungering for more
and heads looking to a forthcoming Pace Won album to bring the heat.
Music Vibes: 5 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 5.5 of 10
Originally posted: July 3, 2001