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1 January, 2002@12:00 am

Cormega is one of those rare artists that after dealing with a fair amount of label politics, continued to work his ass off and do whatever it took to get out of his deal with Def Jam, and release a solid debut album, which came in the form of last year’s The Realness. After such a positive response to his official debut, Mega Montana shoots out a follow-up with The True Meaning; further testament to the love he holds for his hood.

Many of the same themes from Mega’s catalog are revisited on The True Meaning; betrayal (“A Thin Line”), the struggle (“The True Meaning”), the early days (“The Legacy”), and of course his public on again /off again beef with Nas (“Love In Love Out”). Regardless of the fact that Mega will forever re-examine his surroundings and hustle to churn out consecutive albums, The True Meaning still has merit. He spits a few jewels here and there with his trademarked pouty rhyme style, but the what separates Mega’s albums from every other gangster rapper’s are the beats.

He’s narrowed it down to a signature style of Queensbridge gangsta, which flourishes well together as an album. J-Love delivers two bangers with “Love In Love Out” and “Endangered Species”, while DR Period and Buckwild carry the vibe with both “The True Meaning” and “Thin Line”, respectively. Meanwhile, Alchemist and Cormega depict Queensbridge in the 80′s, both sonically and lyrically on the wondrous throwback track “The Legacy”. And for nostalgia’s sake, the reinvented Large Professor delivers a raw, hardcore, drum propelled banger on “The Come Up”.

While these tracks alone live up to the standard set on The Realness, the other half of the album tends to be a bit more generic. Whether it’s uninspiring production from under-established newbies, or Corey’s shameless channeling of 2Pac’s “Keep Your Head Up” on “Live Ya Life”, unfortunately the other percentage doesn’t deliver.

Regardless that half of Mega’s album is hot, while the other half struggles to keep up, the stronger tracks do carry it, and help define him as not only one of Queensbridge’s most passionate emcees, but also one with an incredible work ethic.

  Mixtape D.L.
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