No Mercy No Remorse

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Four years after his debut album, The RBX Files, RBX resurfaced on Street Solid with his sophomore effort, No Mercy, No Remorse/The X-Factor. While a four-year wait between albums wouldn't be as big of a deal in jazz, blues, pop, or country, it's an eternity in hip-hop -- a genre in which trends and tastes can change radically in the course of a few years. And when you consider that the release of The RBX Files was delayed a few years because of RBX's problems with Dr. Dre in the early 1990s, you're really talking more than a four-year gap between albums. But delays and all, RBX's rapping style still sounds quite fresh on this 1999 CD. Quirky and hardcore at the same time, RBX is a very recognizable rapper -- he came out of the Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg school of Los Angeles gangsta rap, but RBX reminds listeners that he's very much his own man on tunes like "Ambush & Torture," "Oh, No," and "Make My Day," which features Treach of Naughty by Nature. Taken as a whole, the album doesn't make a single, cohesive statement -- essentially, it serves as a vehicle for RBX's interesting rhyming technique. With Solid Entertainment founder Jay Warsinske serving as executive producer, No Mercy, No Remorse/The X-Factor is a respectable, long overdue follow-up from an MC who should have recorded a lot more often in the 1990s.

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