Lil 1/2 Dead had been a member of the Dogg Pound (Snoop Doggy Dogg's outfit) when, in 1994, the L.A. rapper came out with his first solo album, The Dead Has Arisen. The most obvious comparison on this CD is D.J. Quik -- like Quik, 1/2 Dead is a gangsta rapper who has a relaxed, laid-back type of flow and tells it like it is without going out of his way to inundate the listener with violent lyrics. The Dead Has Arisen isn't nearly as violent or as graphic as N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton or Ice Cube's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted -- essentially, this is an R-rated party album along the lines of Dr. Dre's The Chronic, Warren G's Regulate...G Funk Era or Quik's Quik Is the Name. A big part of this album's appeal is the smooth and melodic producing of Tracy Kendrick, Courtney "Tha Commander" Branch and others; though their Dre-influenced tracks aren't as imaginative as Dre's, they see to it that this is a nice-sounding CD. Rapping about sex, marijuana and life as a "playa," 1/2 Dead doesn't bring any groundbreaking or earth-shattering insights to his album. But he manages to come up with his share of catchy rhymes and hooks, and when you combine them with the appealing production, you've got a party album that's decent, if conventional.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson