After a decade in the game, everything finally falls into place for the underappreciated Sheek Louch. He's been considered a distant third behind his fellow LOX members Jadakiss and Styles P., and his satisfying but not stunning albums prior haven't helped to put him over the top. If Silverback Gorilla isn't stunning it's only because it's a slow grower. Without a unifying theme, the album takes a couple listens before this collection of varied showcase tracks becomes something solid and powerful. The listener must hang on tight as the opening, screwed and chopped styled "Think We Got a Problem" with Bun B. and the Game gives way to the bright, grand, and motivational "Keep Pushin'." With its Betty Wright sample and soulful bounce, "Good Love" is a radio-friendly, "for the ladies" track that works. The hip-hop dream collaboration that follows -- "D-Block/Dipset," where the LOX meet the Diplomats -- is just as successful and while "We Comin'" with party starter Unk sounds like a horrible idea, this Sheek song for pep rallies is instead, horribly infectious. "Rubber Grip" with Fat Joe is the last of the slick cuts aimed at radio, but the key tracks on Silverback are really the down and dirty hip-hop numbers, some easily spotted with titles like "2 Turntables & a Mic" or "Mic Check." His ten years of experience turns into advice for aspiring MCs on the simple but effective "Don't Be Them," and the unrefined "We Spray Crowds" lays it all on the line with "I'm the sleeper of the crew/I'm supposed to be after P." On Silverback Gorilla, Sheek doesn't leapfrog over Styles or Jada, but by proving he can sound vital in any surrounding, he's set himself up to be on equal footing whenever the next LOX/D-Block reunion rolls around.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Mike Smith
feat: The Bully