After a break of almost five years, Newark, NJ's Lords of the Underground returned in 1999 with Resurrection, recorded for Queen Latifah's Jersey Kidz imprint. Right away, MCs Doitall and Mr. Funke and DJ Lord Jazz make clear their position with an introduction decrying hip-hop's loss of its own roots. Together with the first full track, "Retaliate," the intro establishes LOTU as a crew that's come back from the dead to help hip-hop do the same. While a bit of the gangsta posing that typified the crew's early work still remains, this leaner and meaner version of LOTU relies mostly on biting wit, verbose lyricism, and the swirling beats of Lord Jazz, instead of any played-out clichés. The descending piano line of "Take Dat" makes the song's martial beat queasy, while "Earth, Wind, & Fire" (featuring Joya) features smooth, mournful strings that match the song's street-level morality tale perfectly. Da Brat stops by for the old school rap of "One Day," while Funke and Doitall reassert their credentials on "Excuse Me." The two parts of "Hennessey," while featuring inventive arrangements courtesy of Lord Jazz, nonetheless sound a bit forced, as if LOTU is trying to force contemporary relevance. This is a mistake, since Resurrection is strongest when it relies on the classic tenets of hip-hop and its MCs' own talent, instead of grafting the latest trend onto an existing formula.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus