Big Shug offers an alternative to the mainstream Hip Hop flava of the week. Being backed by one of HipHop greats, DJ Premier, doesn’t hurt either. His new album, Street Champ, contains insanely dope production, concept joints, as well as the street gems you would expect. There is no question that new producer Moss lays down some of the rawest 90s style boom bap heard recently. His production shines bright through this album and is a nice alternative to the traditional Premo sound. Premo lays it down on several tracks the way you would expect. All in all, the production is nothing but exceptional.
While sonically pleasing, Big Shug tends to be pretty generic at times. He doesn’t have to much to come with lyrically. Concept joints like “Play It” and “Lost” really show what he is capable of, proving that Shug needs a concept when laying it down, otherwise the track ends up being very stale and borderline redundant. The most impressive track here is the aforementioned “Lost”. On this track he actually sings (in his own kinda way) while really speaking on something other than just being hood in the street. It almost may have been better if he did this more on the regular, as his normal rap style is average at best. His voice can be a tad annoying, as well as extremely monotonous. However, with production from those stated above, even the most monotone has a shot.
Despite these minor beefs, this is still a pretty solid LP. Certain tracks like “Street Champ”, “Hood With That” and “Walk Away” definitely grow on you the more you hear them. A true hiphop critic will find plenty of faults within this package, however the average listener who is looking for that oldskool vibe that we all miss so much will love it. It’s the type of record that you need to take a step back and really just vibe with it.
The production on this album along with the concept joints are definitely what stands out. Some very soulful, funky beats are on here y’all. If you are a fan of Premo, Moss and east coast boom bap flava, do yourself a favor and cop this. Notable tracks include “Lost”, “Hear Me”, “Spitfire” ft Dre Robinson & Singapore Kane, “Hood With That”, “Walk Away”, “Warpath” ft Termanology & Ea$y Money, “Play It”. – DJ Prizmatik
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