Swizz Beatz

Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories

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The full-length debut for Ruff Ryders trackmaster Swizz Beatz is that rare thing in the rap world: a record with a single production style. Considering most mainstream rappers hire out two producers for every three tracks they release, hearing an entire LP with a uniform sound is as welcome as it is surprising. Still, Swizz Beatz' Kasseem Dean does vary his sound a bit, and experiments more than any you'd hear on a randomly selected 17 of his productions from other artists' albums. G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories finds him moving from quasi-acoustic soul (with the LL Cool J feature "Ghetto Love") to a few in the usual Ruff Ryders style (for Jadakiss on "Big Business" and Eve on "Island Spice") to a ragga track with Bounty Killer, but also introduces Ja Rule to Metallica for a heavy metal extravaganza called "We Did It Again." The highlight "Endalay" features Busta Rhymes livening up what would've been a comparatively bland production on its own, and Styles hits on all cylinders for "Good Times." Dean is actually a great rapper too, able to command the mic and the mixing board for three tracks here -- he should've given himself more. As it is, despite the great sounds and great features, too much of G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories finds one of the hottest producers in hip-hop resting on his laurels.

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