M.O.P.

First Family 4 Life

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Mash Out Posse return with another dose of that strictly underground N.Y. flavor. M.O.P. rely on no gimmicks, as Lil' Fame and Billy Danzenie continue to lick shots upside your head with reckless abandon. Sticking to their guns, M.O.P. refuse to soften their product in search of platinum plates. DJ Premier executive-produced this album and chipped in five slamming, standout tracks. With Primo behind the boards, the results are usually splendid, and M.O.P. take full advantage of his presence. On "Breakin' the Rules," M.O.P. break down the inner workings of the game, chastising those who don't follow proper procedures. M.O.P. and Bumpy Knucks (aka Freddie Foxxx) put it down for N.Y. on "I Luv." Primo continues to bless M.O.P. with "Downtown Swinga 98," the third installment of this trilogy. With "Salute, Pt. 2," Guru lends his voice to help M.O.P. take things one step further over the best of Primo's tracks found here (which is saying something). Also check out "Down 4 Whateva," featuring an always-on-point O.C., and "Brooklyn/Jersey Get Wild" with an invigorated Treach. "Blood Sweat and Tears" and "What the Future Holds are a nice change of pace and show M.O.P.'s maturity from previous efforts. One of the few missteps the duo takes is with "4 Alarm Blaze," as Teflon and Jay-Z (along with M.O.P.) deliver strong lyrics, but the track is less than riveting. Furthermore, "Ride with Us" and "New York Salute" become stagnant and do nothing to distinguish themselves. Primo's contribution helped M.O.P. take a step that was very much needed. His sharp and resounding drum kicks mesh perfectly with M.O.P.'s gritty sandpaper flow. When Lil' Fame and Billy speak, you can hear the pain, anger, anguish, and passion resonate from inside.

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