Shut 'Em Down is officially the follow-up to All We Got Iz Us, but since that second album was largely forgotten, the record might as well have been a follow-up to Bacdafucup, the debut that briefly made Onyx a hip-hop sensation. Onyx haven't changed that much since then; their hardcore rhythms still hit hard, their lyrics are still profane and they still shout their lyrics as often as they rap. In short, they still make the oversized, near-parodic hardcore rap that made "Slam" a smash hit. Unfortunately, there isn't anything on Shut 'Em Down nearly as good as "Slam." There's nothing that's flat-out bad, on the other hand, but there's no denying that the horrorcore schtick wears a bit thin. At first, it sounds good to have Onyx back, but it soon becomes clear that they need to develop a new sonic direction, otherwise they will have shut themselves down.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine