After purchasing Maybach Music Group’s “Self-Made” this morning at my local Target, I went to my car to do my usual ritual of opening a new album and playing it immediately. You don’t get the full appeal of an album unless you play it “in the whip.” As I reached over and ejected “The Doggumentary” out of my cd player, I noticed a cd case laying on the floor of my 2006 Toyota Camry. “State Property Presents: The Chain Gang Vol. 2.”
Until that moment, I had completely forgotten I ever paid cash for that album. Released in 2003, it was the second album from a group of rappers that I didn’t care about at the time. Beanie Sigel(You feuded with Jadakiss, you were feuding with me), Freeway(didn’t care), Oschino(no thanks), Sparks(no thanks again), Young Chris(I liked his verse on the single “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”), Neef (I didn’t like his verses on said single) and Peedi Crakk(never heard of him at that time).
Charter Cable’s rap channel featured a few of the songs and ironically enough, I enjoyed the small sample of songs. Even though I may not like an artist, if I hear good music I’ll buy it. After spinning this cd in my car for the entire day, I realized something: this album is/was a banger!
Playing almost like a glorified mixtape, “Chain Gang” sports at least 12 out of 17 possible heaters. It’s amazing this album peaked under “Gold” status. Not only did I gain respect for the rappers featured, I also became fans of Young Chris and Peedi Crakk. I wanted to give to some time to spotlight my top five favorite tracks and give the LP a moment in the sun.
In Descending Order:
5. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop – The lead single from the album makes this list because of catchy, vibrant raps from Young Chris. Completely overshadowing Neef, Chris just takes control of the song and leaves his partner in the dust.
4. Just Another N**** – Perfect cruising song. You would have to have a heart of stone if you listened and didn’t have the urge to belt out this smooth chrous. Only problem is the rappers on the song, Beanie, Oschino and Sparks provide forgettable verses. Chorus is so strong I’m willing to forget the forgettable.
3. Temporary Relief – Sparks is on this song but lets forget about that for a second. Peedi shines on this joint! Quotable lines galore, the energy that Crakk shows is contagious. Definitely a standout track that Crakk should have fought to put on that album of his that never came out.
2. Blow – Twista comes through with a show-stealing verse on a great song. If you want to see how to knock a verse out of the park, look no further than this track. If you can rap this verse like I can, use it to impress your friends. Side Note: Young Chris had the weakest verse I’ve heard from him.
1. When You Hear That – FLAMES. Beanie Sigel started the track out with a great verse that ended up being my least favorite on the song. The real stars are Dirt McGirt(the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard RIP) and Peedi Crakk. The police sirens are a little weak but you don’t notice too much because of the charisma of ODB. It was one of his last and best appearances and if you ask anyone about the best verse to rap along to, most will say this verse. Peedi comes through and gives another standout appearance. “Respect Mine, the tech nine ain’t my thing, I defeat the purpose of teflon with one – riiiiing!!! Make the place vacate, I can’t wait…” There is magic all over this track.
Give this album a listen sometime, whatever way you know how. Or better yet, give all of your old albums a listen sometime, you might discover a gem in a pile of rocks.