Sheek Louch

Walk Witt Me

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The final LOX member to release a solo album, Sheek Louch made the long wait worthwhile by dropping a low-key yet impressive debut, Walk Witt Me. Unlike so many major-label rap albums, the 14-track effort is solid: clocking in at a bit under 60 minutes (rather than the usual 80) and padded out with no filler. Furthermore, the album feels street. There aren't the usual commercial concessions like excessive guest features, overwrought hooks, big-money producers, and the usual clich├ęs; instead, the lyrics rather than the hooks are the emphasis, the few guests are family, the producers are street-level beatmakers with original sounds, and most importantly, Sheek keeps it real, spitting sincere rhymes from the heart rather than the standard bling-bling boasting (particularly note "I Ain't Forget"). This is real hip-hop, albeit of the hardcore East Coast rap variety. "OK" and "Turn It Up" could be mass-market hits with the proper marketing push, but for the most part, Walk Witt Me isn't your standard major-label rap album. And for this reason, it deserves more notice that it got upon its initial release. It doesn't have the big-budget fireworks that fellow LOX members Jadakiss and Styles P had on their debuts -- Kiss tha Game Goodbye (2001) and A Gangster and a Gentleman (2002), respectively -- yet it's an album that fans of the group should definitely hear despite its lack of commercial appeal.

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