Noreaga

Melvyn Flynt Da Hustler

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In the grand tradition of rappers from Ice Cube to Nas, Noreaga's second album comes complete with an alternate identity, Melvin Flynt. As the cover portrays, Noreaga is struggling between himself and what the music industry wants him to become to sell more records. The record begins with a death that creates his alternate identity, and the rapper does in fact seem reborn on street-level tracks like "Gangsta's Watch," "Da Hustla," and "Wethuggedout." It's more than just an easy way to revel in gangsta imagery and themes without having to worry about criticism; Melvin Flynt - Da Hustler works because Noreaga puts feeling into the tracks. Though the production is a bit off compared to 1998's N.O.R.E., the album is an interesting addition to gangsta lore.

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