MC Ren

Ruthless for Life

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    8
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Working with a new producer and enlisting an impressive roster of guest artists (including Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, 8Ball & MJG, and RBX), MC Ren reconfigures himself as a latter-day gangsta rapper, complete with stoned beats and loping basslines. It's sort of disconcerting to hear a former N.W.A rapper trying to position himself as a member of the No Limit posse, but Ren does this fairly well. There are a few weak tracks on Ruthless for Life and all of his ideas are a little shopworn, but it does sound better than another collection of hardcore post-N.W.A hip-hop would have. So, Ruthless for Life does revitalize Ren -- it gives the opportunity to sound like a contemporary rather than a washed-up veteran. And that, in a way, makes it one of his better solo records.

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