Hell Rell

For the Hell of It

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AllMusic Review by

There's an EP's worth of pure Diplomats fire on member Hell Rell's official solo debut, For the Hell of It. First there's the leadoff single, "Show Off," a simple, hooky effort with exciting street production from the Tracsquad Movement. The bravado-filled "Paperboy," the stately anthem "Streets Gonna Love Me," and the great "Hardest Out" with Styles P all sound like they fell off a furious Hell Rell mixtape, and even the cover of the album seems to fit best with the title of 2007 mixtape Eat with Me or Eat a Box of Bullets. All are evidence that mixtapes are where the rapper is most comfortable, but there's also the polished and fun "Deep in Love," which not only suggests Rell is the wild Ol' Dirty Bastard of the Dipset crew but also that he can he rise above the underground circuit and land a cut on BET or urban radio. Problem is, it's the only time the album strives to be more than a fringe Diplomats release. Rell's boasting, bragging, and shock tactics sit on a bed of solid yet uninspired production while Dipset members Cam'ron, J.R. Writer, and Juelz Santana all stop by to make the second half of the album sound like a volume of the crew's Diplomatic Immunity series. Their appearances are needed and strategically placed, since Rell's gruff style, limited delivery, and simple rhymes have worn out their welcome by this point. Only the most loyal Dipset soldier would disagree; everyone else can just check the highlights.

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