Since his last album, Kool G Rap made two very critical life decisions that would greatly impact his career. First, he left the hustle and bustle of Queens behind and relocated to the blistering desert heat of Arizona. Secondly, tiring of major-label hassles and poor promotion, he severed all ties with Cold Chillin and started his own label, Ill Street. After a four-year hiatus, it was finally time for the self-professed Godfather of Street Rap to unleash his ferocious appetite for rhyme upon his unsuspecting prey. Sounding reinvigorated after a lengthy layoff, his skills remain completely intact, blazing verse after verse in grand fashion. Standout cuts include the eerie, bass-heavy "One Dark Night," and G Rap lyrically drenches the wavering keyboard of "Mobstas." Also, "Let the Games Begin" and the well-executed "Mafioso" stand out. One of this album's crown jewels, "Thugs Life Story (Chapter I, II, III)," is a nine-minute excursion into the underworld, finding G Rap at unparalleled echelons. Though rarely diverting from his usual topic matter of money, murder, and mayhem, there is a definitive method to his madness. G Rap's intricate storytelling ability and keen attention for detail enables him to flip futuristic tales of criminology in a totally unique fashion. However, just as the production failed to take his first solo album, 4,5,6, to that next level, the same can be echoed here. It's abundantly clear that G Rap needs to map out a strategically stronger battle plan when searching for just the right tracks to compliment his flow, because that's the only thing holding him back on this album.
AllMusic Review by Matt Conaway
feat: Miss Jones