Lead the Way

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Excluding the phenomenal single "Players Holiday," the first T.W.D.Y. album Derty Werk never really met its full potential, with Ant Banks somewhat struggling to duplicate the sort of G-funk that made him such a renowned West Coast producer and an overall lack of quality rapping. But with Lead the Way, Banks seems to have finally brought his project to its full realization. His beats have never sounded better, harking back to his best work with Rappin' 4-Tay, Too Short, and Spice 1, and in addition to his impressive beats, a mind-blowing roster of the California Bay Area's best rappers make appearances on this album. So rather than just being a showcase for the trio that comprise T.W.D.Y. -- Banks, Captain Save'm, and Dolla Will -- the album functions almost as a platform for the entire Bay Area camp. Though these rappers -- Too $hort, E-40, Kurupt, MC Eiht, WC, C.J. Mac, B-Legit, Ice-T, and many others -- often fall into tired gangsta clich├ęs, they do it with charisma and skill, shining more in terms of delivery than content.

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