Ed O.G & da Bulldogs

Roxbury 02119

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The second Ed O.G & da Bulldogs album opens with a first-person drug slinging tale. Bleak and even claustrophobic, "Streets of the Ghetto" is no glorification, nowhere near celebratory. Instead, the track conveys the realities of the trade while outlining how a person with severely limited options can be lured into it. "Streets" sets the tone for Roxbury 02119, generally a more serious and tense album than Life of a Kid in the Ghetto. While rap was going harder in 1993 than it was in 1991, Ed O.G's shift is natural with no apparent desire to cash in on the increasingly prevailing trend. It's where his head was at, enhanced greatly by a handful of Diamond's most overlooked productions, as well as a batch of relatively playful tracks helmed by Awesome 2 Productions (Teddy Tedd, Special K, and their many associates). "Streets," "Busted," "Skinny Dip," "I Thought Ya Knew," and "Dat Ain't Right" have all the trademarks of Diamond's most-loved tracks: nerved-up breaks, distant squealing horns, thumping basslines, and the constant sense that something major is about to go down. (He'd be a natural at film scoring.) Unfortunately, nothing clicked like the singles from Life of a Kid in the Ghetto, and the album quickly became an undeserving obscurity.

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