Hated By Many Loved By Few

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The return of the Dayton Family in 2001 brought with it a trio of solo albums by group members Ghetto E, Shoestring, and Bootleg. All had signed to the Detroit-based Overcore label (Esham, Natas, Mastamind) and seemed renewed after some unsuccessful debut albums on major labels. Of those three albums, Bootleg's stands out as the best in terms of not only the production but also in terms of rhymes. In fact, Hated By Many Loved By Few is so impressive relative to those other two albums that it's almost a disservice to associate Bootleg with his peers. Sure, Ghetto E's Ghetto Theater and Shoestring's Cross Addicted have their merits, but those albums reflect an admittedly lo-fi aesthetic and are a little short on creativity. Bootleg's album succeeds where those albums faltered. The beats are potent, fueled by live instruments and Dirty South-style drum machine beats and synths; in fact, their unique sound helps set this album apart from the numerous underground hardcore rap albums released in 2001. But it's Bootleg's efforts that make this album so impressive. His MCing style is reminiscent of 2Pac -- fast-paced, aggressive, and unapologetic. In addition, he brings in a number of other vocalists to give the album additional depth and a sense of variety. Furthermore, where Death Before Dishonesty was wounded by its crossover ambitions, Hated By Many returns to the hardcore gangsta style that the Dayton Family is known for, and thanks to its impressive execution, it's the better album.

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