Do or Die

Get That Paper

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Taking a major U-turn from their 2005 effort D.O.D., Do or Die have stripped things to their bare essentials on Get That Paper, and it suits this veteran, underappreciated trio perfectly. No Kanye West, no R. Kelly this time, just Bun B, whose appearance on the slippery slow jam "Hey Ma!" is a Chicago-meets-the-South highlight, while everything else on this solid effort is homegrown. Most of the album is coated with smoothed-out street tracks from the group's longtime producer the Legendary Traxster, the man who best understands Do or Die's sometimes cold and heartless, sometimes laid-back and wide-open style. Get That Paper balances the two worlds of Do or Die better than any previously release, easily flowing from club tracks to more cold and soul-searching numbers before exiting with two of their hardest efforts. The track list isn't bloated, nothing here sounds forced or anything but genuine, and if members AK, Belo, and Nard will never be mistaken for Rakim or 2Pac, they've grown and have plenty to offer lyric-lovers, especially on the vivid "On My Own," which is filled with frustration and doubt. While Get That Paper is so self-contained and unapologetically unconcerned with what is hot it may never make an impact on hip-hop across the board, it is Do or Die at their finest.

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