Everybody knows that hip-hop started on the east coast, but in the mid-90′s the west coast was ruling the airwaves and our television screens. The east coast was falling back with no where to go. Until two young men from Queensbridge decided they had enough. With the Dogg Pound’s “New York, New York” being regarded as a diss to NYC, Capone n Noreaga didn’t take this lying down, they enlisted fellow QBers Mobb Deep and Tragedy and well…the rest is history. Even though Noreaga has most of the limelight, Capone is considered by most to be the more talented emcee. He has finally dropped his highly anticipated debut album Pain, Time and Glory on Fastlife/Koch. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Capone has never been shy about his time inside, from being locked up during the making of the hip-hop classic The War Report to other run-ins with the law, Capone wears those stripes of past mistakes with pride. “The Release” starts the album off properly. Telling the tale of an inmate being released with a goal in mind and the powers that be trying to keep him down by telling him “I’ll see you in 90 (days)”. From that point starts the gritty tale that is Capone’s pain, time and glory. “The Intro” has Capone re-introducing himself to the public and shouting out all the people that have believed in him over a Heatmakerz banger. The single “What’s My Name (Soldier’s Story) continues the barrage of street tales over a Benedictine Monk type sample that fits Capone’s flow to perfection. The album continues with other stand outs such as The Dub Z produced “Diet Plan” which breaks down exactly how to erase an enemy. The Heatmakerz turn in a Kanyesque masterpiece on “All 4 U”, and Scarface gives a scene stealing 16 bars on “No Where to Run”. Arguably the best track,” Streets Favorite” formally know as “Oh No” is from a relatively unknown producer named Frank Nitty. Nitty flipping a vocal sample and Capone just plain kills it. Capone holds his own without partner in crime Noreaga, but the album is not without its shortcomings. The uninspired “Where My Stuff At?” and “Fuck Yo Set” doesn’t seem to fit the flow at all. Along with the barely tolerable R&B stylings of Complexion on “I’ll Die for Mine” and the unnecessary skits, the album tends to drag.
All in all, “Pain, Time and Glory” is a very solid debut. With the right production and Capone staying true to his story telling abilities a classic album is slated for his future.
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