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by
1 January, 2005@12:00 am
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 He began his career in the early 90′s with a strong political agenda, making his debut in the rap world as Tragedy The Inteligent Hoodlum. But a man who once wanted to arrest the president, has reinvented himself, changed with the times, and resurfaced as Tragedy Khadafi, a give-a-fuck-less thug, who puts his lifetime in between the paper’s lines.

Finally giving up on the now defunct Gee Street label, Tragedy has taken the same route that AZ and J-Live took, by pressing his album up independently, despite any future legal woes it might cause with his former label. Because of this, many previously leaked mix-tape favorites make reappearances on this CD, but somehow have held up to the test of time, still sounding as fresh as the day they were recorded.

While it was Tragedy that introduced the world to Capone-N-Noreaga, the beef between N.O.R.E. and Trag still runs thick, as has laments on the still banging “Blood Type”: “Taught you how to spit / how to breathe on beats / if it wasn’t for me you’d probably be on the street.” Unfortunately, while Noreaga studied under Khadafi, a case of the student defeating the teacher has taken it’s toll, as Nore has seen success, and a bad label deal has left Tragedy in the cold.

Regardless, the majority of Tragedy’s life seems to have been surrounded in bad weather, which perversely is transformed into entertainment for the masses. He pens tails of misery well, and along with strong production, you can’t help but feel what he has to say as he pours his heart out on tracks like “They Forced My Hand” (w/ Cormega), “T.M.”, “In Memory Of” and several others.

Things do get astray at times, as in later parts of the album, listeners are forced to endure the rhymes of several “unintelligent hoodlums”, who make appearances on this disc solely through their Two-Five affiliation. And while it may seem that Tragedy is quick to change like the weather, emulating whatever style seems to sell records, honestly he does it well, despite one or two shortcomings, (such as the embarrassing wanna-be Swizz beats on “What Makes You Think”). But as a track like “True Confessions” (w/ Iman Thug) could easily be mistaken for an exchange between Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, the production is so solid that one can’t help but look the other way. For the most part, Tragedy is on his own shit, blending in well with other QB cohorts such as Mobb Deep and Nas, and this album is gives us a taste of his past, present, and future. All it will take now is for the major hip-hop media to embrace Tragedy’s bootleg, and perhaps the right deal will land on his doorstep.

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