Life After Death

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The first N.A.T.A.S. album, Life After Death, introduces Esham's group, featuring TNT and Mastermind, and their merger of a NWA-style gang mentality, a 2 Live Crew-style attitude towards women, and the same sort of morbidity that Esham showcased on his solo albums. So while the synthesis of these three characteristics -- violence, sex, and death -- is no doubt potent, it comes off as far too contrived. The trio's attempt to be as hardcore as possible pushes their efforts from shocking to clichéd satire. Furthermore, in addition to the clichéd subject matter, the accompanying music isn't nearly as evocative as that found on Esham's solo albums. The group's later albums would eventually integrate a further sense of sincerity and less theatrics as well as a stronger musical soundtrack; this debut finds them simply trying to make a splash by being as insane as possible. Unfortunately, they take things too far for their own good.

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