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16 November, 2005@12:00 am

    Sheek Louch proved he’s quite capable of rocking the mic without his Lox brethren when he dropped his solid solo debut, Walk Witt Me, in 2003.  He has further cemented his status as the streets disciple with his new release After Taxes.

    The album starts strong with the cinematic, Buckwild produced “Intro” where Sheek gets at those dudes putting out candy-coated shit.  “I told ya’ll to walk wit me, dropped something sick on it/and I ain’t put no one but my muthafuckin click on it/no R&B, I ain’t have no muthafuckin chick on it/these other ni**** songs, jail ni**** beat they dick on it.” Sheek then rocks on the punishing “Street Music,” where he informs challengers that “the hood is mine.”

   Moving along, Sheek again proves his worth overtop another unique backdrop courtesy of Havoc.  Combining gun-cocking high-hats and double-time drums, “45 Minutes to Broadway” finds Sheek in top-notch form.  And the mixtape staple “Kiss Your Ass Goodbye Remix” featuring Fabulous, Beanie Sigel and T.I. and the lava-hot “Devine” featuring J-Hood both slam like Onyx in ’94.

    But the record unfortunately begins to lose steam with the bland hook on “Run Up” featuring Styles P and the failed crossover attempt of “One Name” featuring Carl Thomas.  Also disappointing is the high-profile collabos with Ghostface (“Movie N*****) and Redman (“Get Up, Stand Up”).  Both songs are decent, but seem nothing more than an obliged guest shot and lack cohesiveness between the artists.  Though Sheek has again proved he is a raw spitter, the album doesn’t really break any new ground or bring you closer to understanding who Sean Jacobs really is.

   But After Taxes is far from a sub-par record.  Filled with Sheek’s patented punch-line filled lyrics and passionate delivery, Louchion music is definitely worth checking out.

  Mixtape D.L.
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