Affiliated is the second high-quality latter-day MC Eiht album in a row, following the strong Veterans Day release from 2004. This renaissance is a quiet one for Eiht, as these albums are independently released and quite far off the mainstream radar. Yet that's partly their appeal: they don't sound like every other major-label rap album out there. They certainly have character -- a sort of homemade charm to them, thanks in no small part to Tha Chill, who produces the majority of both albums -- and this sense of nonuniformity goes a long way toward setting them apart from a lot of the often-generic albums Eiht put out during the late '90s. At this point in his career, Eiht is a godfather-like figure, albeit one who seems to feel unappreciated and victimized by biters. This attitude is clear throughout his lyrics, where he's continually deriding the contemporary generation of upstarts as posers, if not fake altogether. Sure, it can feel like bitterness, and some of the saltiest rhetoric here is indeed informed by bitterness. But there's a lot of truth in what Eiht raps, like it or not, and he's at his best when he focuses on the positive. Hopeful songs like "CPT'z Bac," for instance, shine while the sourer songs like "Smoke Dis" could be interpreted as the sentiment of a has-been curmudgeon. In any event, the creative production of Tha Chill makes even the grumpier moments engaging, and when DJ Subflo assists on a couple tracks ("Just Lean" particularly), the beats get really interesting. Longtime followers should cherish Affiliated, and younger listeners would be wise to consider what this ol' gangsta sage has to say here, for he's been through a lot and thankfully is still around to rap about what he's seen.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier