The four years that separated Drag-On's solo debut and his second album were not spent stockpiling more-powerful ammunition. If there had been any doubt prior, Hell and Back proves that he isn't one of Ruff Ryders' greatest assets. 2000's Opposite of H2O was respectable, if shaky, but this set of tracks is even more prone to hand-me-down marginality. The guest MCs -- including forgettable turns from labelmates DMX, Eve, Styles P -- are nearly outnumbered by the rotating cast of producers; and neither Swizz Beatz nor Rockwilder turn in inspired work during their solitary beat-making appearances. Lead single "Put Your Drinks Down" is the biggest offender, sounding a great deal like Bow Wow's "Let's Get Down" with about half as much energy. "Tell Your Friends," however, would be a highlight on just about any album, but its excellence has more to do with up-and-comer Neo's production work and Jadakiss' appearance on the mic.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
feat: Swizz Beatz
feat: Styles P