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10 December, 2003@12:00 am

     Earlier this year, you may have had heard the faded buzz on Kool G Rap’s ex-Rawkus  release, Giancana Story, once highly anticipated back in 2001. Transfer from the No. 7 train to the F, we’re heading to Queens as Kool G Rap gathers his new kinship, 5 Family Click. Made up of an assembly of serious-minded, ill emcees hailing from NYC – the city that defined the meaning of ‘street’ way before any other city got down in the hip hop mix – their blood is thicker than water. Just ask ring-leader, Kool G Rap, his wifey and the sole female emcee, Ma Barker, her brother Hammerz, cousin Glory Wars and Nawz, currently serving time as punishment ‘up north’. It don’t get any realer than this, on or off record. Queens is the borough they reside, but a world of street entertainment is the vision and sound behind Click of Respect. What really started out as Kool G Rap’s foresight into seeing a compilation come about involving these individual emcees through his production company, Igloo Entertainment, ‘clicked’ so perfectly that G officially joined together his extended family and formed one unit, 5 Family Click.

    The ‘Financial Capital of the World’ doesn’t always appear as extravagant as P. Diddy and his associated followers make it out to be, not to mention as gimmicky as his MTV-inspired Da Band. When 5 Family Click blast their first bullet into the corner store with “I Die For You”, most cable networks would have already stopped their cameras from rolling. A dramatic spin on each rapper’s account of near-fatal encounters, these rhymes paint the last earth-memories of either fallen soldiers that didn’t survive in the street’s underworld of drugs, murders, shady law enforcement, trivial sex, money laundering and the ills of evil 5 Family are all too familiar with. And their depictions are very believable. As Ma Barker spits darts for words while Kool G Rap handles the hook, don’t expect the level of hardcore tracks to be watered down to some sort of a minimum. It’s straight gutter, so ‘grab your guns, don’t leave home without them’ or ‘dress warm and bundle up’ as the song “Cold World” splinters into your ear. Kool G Rap goes solo on “Blackin’ Out” with the same hectic pace he shoved down hip hop history’s archive on classics such as Wanted: Dead or Alive, Poison, and Streets of New York. Still picturesque as ever, age only affected G by blessing him with even more to add commentary on.

    As the action-flick drama continues to follow this posse from song to song, it escalates to a high when the siren-wailing, speeding car chase going down on “Breaker Breaker”, gathers the entire posse in a symphony of juicy verses, literally taking your attention off of the driver, Kool G Rap. Praise is due to the entire crew, from co-pilot to the rest of passengers who all lift the quality of this album towards a great escape. The fact is, without G, these youngsters on other tracks such as “Click Of Respect”, still hold it down. They represent the incredible confidence, disrespect for the law and confrontational style changing the face of the street game and rap game, reflective by boasting lyrics such in the title track: “I’m grown now, 5 Fam give you what you want now/You a thug? Please, stop walking with ‘POLICE’ on your speed-dial!” The Click’s army of lyrics continue on the explanatory track, “Gully” for those that don’t know, and by the time you get to Ma Barker’s trophy-winning flow for ‘Best Female Of The Year’ on her solo, “Pimped Out”, you’ll be amazed by more than her skill. Probably over the LP’s highest riding track – constructed for making a speedy getaway over the Queensboro Bridge (heading to Queens of course), Ma will blind you with her Spreewell’s, make you giddy with her fast tongue maneuvers and ultimately have you whipped after listening to this track. Put it this way, she’s so fierce, she’ll make Rah Digga, Lil Kim, and Foxy Brown all seem more like her back-up singers or hype-women. With hubby Kool G Rap still flashing deadly warnings to her if she dare cheated on him on “Air U Out”, Ma Barker still shows her true dedication to him closing off the set on “Never Gonna Let You.” After all, he’s still the Godfather. In the 21st century, this is as close as you’ll get to that Golden Era of hardcore emcees in the 1980′s, where the raw soul of the street thug took precedence over the dollar of a corporation.

  Mixtape D.L.
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