Review: 3.5 out of 5
Best Song: “Can’t Stop Me”, “What If”, “Letter to B.I.G.”, “Things I’ve Been Through”, “I Tried”, “Cartel Gathering”
The self-proclaimed “Top 5 dead or alive and that just off one lp” now has a third album to add to his resume. To think Jadakiss has been dropping albums since 2001 and is only on his third album is kinda crazy considering wack rappers like Plies drop an album every six months. But anyway, Jadakiss has always, has alot to prove, since he’s dropped out of the running as King of NY. So the question is can Jadakiss ever get the crown? Probably not. But check song breakdown suckers.
1) Pain and Torture (Produced by Buckwild)
I can’t help but smile when Jada’s first words on the album are “Yeah nigggas!” The way this song sounds is a great way to start the album but Jada doesn’t really say anything worthwhile.
2) Can’t Stop Me featuring Ayanna Irish (Produced by Neo da Matrix)
I’m really glad this was the first single because this song goes sooooooo hard. This is probably Jada’s best song in a while, since you can go to any hood and respectively bump this in the vehicle.
Best line: “Hit the baddest chicks in the world, maybe twice”.
3) Who’s Real featuring Swizz Beatz & OJ Da Juiceman (Produced by Swizz Beatz & The Indivdualz)
I can’t stand this song. I haven’t been able to make it past the first chorus but I’ll assume OJ Da Juiceman’s verse isn’t earth shattering. Apparently, this is going to be the second single. I will say my girl likes the chorus.
4) Grind Hard featuring Mary J. Blige (Produced by The Inkredibles)
Even though this song directly steals parts from Nas’ “Hero” it isn’t that bad. It has a great epic feeling and Jada goes in when the beat switches up. The only complaint I have is Mary J. Blige’s horrid song lyrics here. Who the hell told Mary to sing “grind hard” and “looking like a million bucks”? I could imagine someone like Keri Hilson or Rihanna singing those kind of played out lyrics, but I think a class act like Mary J. Blige should keep it classy. I know, what a backhanded compliment.
5) Something Else (featuring Young Jeezy) (Produced by Fiend)
I love South songs but for some reason I hate Jada’s South paw. I couldn’t make it past the first 20 seconds. I’m sure Young Jeezy sons Jada. Note the sarcasm.
6) One More Step (featuring Styles P) (Produced by Sean C & LV and Swizz Beatz)
This is cool Alchemist sounding type beat where Jada and Styles P go back and forth ala “We Gonna Make It” style. Unfortunately, this song comes in way weak in comparison to “We Gonna Make It”. For some reason, it sounds like this song was recorded in a garbage can, either that or Styles P mixed it.
7) Stress Ya (featuring Pharrell) (Produced by The Neptunes)
Well what do you know a Neptunes joint. The last time Neptunes and Jada banged out “Knock Yourself Out” which even to this day is a strip club classic. Unfortunately, the Neptunes sound is so played out in 2009, this comes off as a Philly’s Most Wanted “throw away beat”. Pharell’s hook is also incredible dull, “You can dance if you want to, but you don’t really have to…stand right here so the blogs can catch it”. Huh? WTF. Is Jadakiss, let alone any of his jump-offs, even mentioned in any gossip blogs? I hope Jadakiss doesn’t become delusional like Nas.
8) What If (featuring Nas) (Produced by Chophouze)
Speaking of Nas. Jadakiss re-writes his last hit “Why?” and instead asks “What If?”. This isn’t a bad song on paper, but Jada really needs to make it seem like he cares about his music rather than making that “aha” noise even on some what serious material. Look at Nas’ verse, he seems like he actually wants to be on the song, Kiss seems passionless here.
Best line: What if Biggies missed the party, what if Tupac missed the flight.
9) Things I’ve Been Through (Produced by Mr. Devine and Christopher “Deep” Henderson)
This is probably Jada’s most personal song. He actually talks about his life from a humble perspective. If Kiss can go into this lane for his fourth album and stop pretending to be some “huge boss” maybe he can get his “10 year ago buzz” back. The Luther Vandross sample during the hook is surprisingly refreshing.
10) I Tried (featuring Avery Storm) (Produced by Baby Grand)
I really don’t get what Jada is thinking here. He has a good hook, good beat and seems to drop lyrics with no passion. I suppose Jada’s nonchalant style isn’t going to make waves in 2009 what with Lil Wayne crying and screaming over songs about “Lollipops”.
11) Rockin’ With the Best (featuring Pharrell) (Produced by The Neptunes)
I’ll give it to Jada that he picks better Neptunes beats than Jay-Z but this still is the most generic Neptunes beat. If these guys are the self-proclaimed best, can’t these guys do something innovative? It’s 2009, please make songs like it.
Best line: “You ain’t in the Billionaire Boy’s Club, you just cop the fit”.
12) Smoking Gun (featuring Jazmine Sullivan) (Produced by Mr. Porter)
This is the song that is supposed to be about a women in a sexually abusive relationship but again Jada’s passionless delivery kills the feeling. Maybe I’ve listened to way too much Joe Budden, but if Joey did this song, you would be donating to women’s shelters.
13) Cartel Gathering (featuring Ghostface Killah & Raekwon) (Produced by Swiff D & Eddie F)
Doesn’t compare to “Run” but still will make the heads happy, Jada had the balls to get GFK and Raekwon on a track. This bangs too.
14) Come and Get Me (featuring S.I. & Sheek Louch) (Produced by Neenyo)
Nothing special here. Move along.
15) By My Side (featuring Ne-Yo) (Produced by Eric Hudson)
I’ve been against Jadakiss watering down his style by doing these R&B songs, isn’t that Fabolous is for? And even though he comes through with the usual thug love banter, the music isn’t awful.
16) Letter to B.I.G. (featuring Faith Evans) (Produced by Needlz)
Even though the Notorious B.I.G. nostalgia isn’t has strong as it once was, Jadakiss finally brings the passion on this heartfelt tribute to Christopher Wallace.
17) Something Else (Remix) (featuring Young Jeezy, Snyp Life, Bully, AP, Boo Rossini & Blood Raw) (Produced by Fiend)
Same beat as before. Jadakiss gets his South paw on against a bunch of Southern rappers no on really cares about, with the exception of Jeezy.
18) Death Wish (featuring Lil Wayne) (Produced by The Alchemist)
Not sure why this is a bonus track or what a bonus track is. But you’ve probably heard this on the countless mixtapes, so you already know this is the hardest song on the album. Lil Wayne doesn’t do a bad job either.
The Last Word
Overall, Jadakiss’ The Last Kiss is probably the strongest album we’re going to get from a New York artist this year, unless Fabolous can get his act together. While there are a number of strong songs on here, there isn’t any replay value of any songs other than “Can’t Stop Me”, so I don’t see this album lasting more than a month in anybody’s ipods/automobiles.