Shortly after establishing himself as a prominent member of the Hot Boys, Lil Wayne entered the solo realm with Tha Block Is Hot. From beginning to end, the teen rapper gets plenty of assistance from his former group mates (Juvenile, B.G., and Turk), who back him on just over half of the album's 17 songs. In addition, the Big Tymers (Brian "Baby" Williams and Mannie Fresh) make several appearances as well, and Fresh produces the entire album. Considering all this, Tha Block Is Hot isn't much different from other late-'90s Cash Money releases like 400 Degreez, Chopper City in the Ghetto, and How You Luv That? Like those albums, Tha Block Is Hot is essentially a group effort despite Wayne's solo billing. Even so, he still gets plenty of time to shine here, particularly on the fiery album-opening title track, which proved to be one of Cash Money's biggest hits to date. The remainder of the album is as solid as late-'90s Cash Money albums get -- a few standouts here and there, mostly because of Fresh's beats, with lots of filler toward the latter half of the album. Taken as a whole, Tha Block Is Hot surely has its moments, though Wayne still seems a little green here. Thankfully, the Cash Money posse comes to his aid often, resulting in an excellent debut for the youngster, highlighted by the title track.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: The Hot Boys