When you think of the Outlawz the first thing that immediately comes to mind is their association with the late legendary Tupac Shakur. The group, which was founded by Shakur following his release from prison in 1995, is best known for their feature on 2Pac’s hit song “Hit ‘Em Up”. Since Tupac’s untimely death, the Outlawz have managed to progress on and keep the music going with this being their fifth group album release. The Outlawz are still considered to somewhat being in the shadows of 2Pac even after his death, but will this album be the one to bring the Outlawz to the forefront as not just Pac’s group but as a premier group in their own right.
We Want In
Featuring Stormey; Produced by Beat Nik & K-Salaam
The album immediately starts off in the right way with a banging beat provided by Beat Nik and K-Salaam. On this initial track we hear the Outlawz talk about how they want more as artists after patiently waiting for so long and aren’t satisfied with what they have now. As you can hear on the chorus, they proceed to shout out all the successful sub-labels and how they want in with regards to the money they’re making.
Everything Happenz 4 A Reason
Featuring Stormey; Produced by Aktual
This next track on the album continues in the same way as the previous track with a hard pounding beat supplied by Aktual. The beat reminds me of something that I would hear Young Jeezy & CTE rapping over. On this track we hear the Outlawz talking about how everything that they have been through over the years has happened for a reason.
Failure Ain’t An Option
Produced by Kaiser Sosa
Kaiser Sosa keeps the album pumping right along with another beat that’s sure to bump hard over the speakers. The use of synthesizers and rolling pitch snares give this track a southern feel to it with a nice addition of a lead guitar at the end of the track. The Outlawz go for a more motivational approach on this track in rapping about how failure isn’t an option in anything that they do and they achieving this by staying on their grind consistently.
Featuring Stormey; Produced by Aktual
Aktual comes back to supply the Outlawz with yet another banging beat that serves as the backdrop to their rhymes about having hunger pains while causes them to constantly be on their hustle and make things happen. A lot of their tracks so far have been focus topic wise on success and achieving accomplishments in everything they do by any means necessary.
Love For Money
Featuring Stormey & Keion; Produced by Cosmo
This track features a nicely sampled beat produced by Cosmo, which fits well with the Outlawz’s rhymes talking about their love of money and peoples’ addiction to the almighty dollar. The song also features a nicely sung chorus that makes it complete.
Thuggin’ Till I Die
Featuring C-Bo & Stormey; Produced by Tha Nox
The album continues on in a great way upon reaching this track that switches the pace in slowing things down a bit. Tha Nox produces a great beat on this track that carries a very sorrowful mood and perfectly fit the Outlawz’s lyrics and theme of the song. Over the piano driven track we hear the Outlawz speak about how they’re gonna be thugging until they die and about the homies that they lost that fell victim to violence. So far this is my favorite track on the album.
Produced by Boondox
On this track we have a soulful sampled beat produced by Boondox with the Outlawz rapping about they’re “the man” from all of the hard work and sacrifice that they’ve put in. This is a good track that brings back up the pace of the album after the previous slow tempo track.
Featuring Stormey; Produced by E.D.I.
This track features some interesting production from fellow group member E.D.I. that is just mediocre at best and starts to drag on as the song progresses. The slow, dragging feeling of this track starts to get boring after a while and the Outlawz rhymes about their life and how they won’t change it for anything are missed because of how uninteresting the track is. This track is a skip for me.
Do It Like That
Featuring J-Bo; Produced by J-Bo
While I felt that the Outlawz were doing a nice job of producing a cohesive album so far with the consistency of their tracks, this one totally misses the mark. This track has a southern feel to it from the production provided by J-Bo who also serves as a guest appearance as well. The Outlawz sound really out of place on this track and it doesn’t really fit their style as they spit braggadocio rhymes about customized cars and other material things in their possession. This track is another skip!
I Can’t Lie
Featuring Stormey & Tha Pimptationz; Produced by Cozmo
While this track does pick back up the album following two mediocre tracks, this song doesn’t do much more for me than the previous tracks did. The beat provided by Cozmo does do this track justice, but the topic of the Outlawz rhymes have been done so many times before that I’m just tired of listening to songs about it. Their rhymes speak about how they can’t lie to girls about them being players for life. The chorus sung by Tha Pimptationz (WTF!!!) doesn’t really add much to the track either.
Take It Off
Featuring Keion; Produced by Cozmo
Of course no album would be complete nowadays without a track for the ladies and this is the Outlawz’s attempt to get their ears. The beat provided by Cozmo is suitable for the type of track that this is and it fits with the Outlawz’s lyrics. Keion does a nice with the chorus and it brings the proper feel to the track. Even though songs have been done like this a million times over, it will work on this album as something that appeals to the women.
It’s My Turn
Featuring Maserati Rick & Nutt-So; Produced by Ayo
Arriving at the final track on the album, the Outlawz come full circle with this song in connection to the entire album. With some solid production provided by Ayo, the Outlawz talk about how it’s now their turn to make it in the music industry and achieve the success that they have been waiting on for so long. This is a suitable way to end off the album and brings the album to a close in a proper way.
In delivering a complete album in 12 tracks (50 minutes) the Outlawz are able to display the talent and ability that Pac saw in them 13 years ago back in 1995 (Pac would be proud). The Outlawz are a group that keeps it real in their music with lyrics that stay true to who they are and don’t try to reach to the commercial/mainstream audience. It can be said that the Outlawz won’t go platinum or garner commercial/mainstream success with this album, but I don’t think that’s their focus and goal. This album as the cover states is The Street LP and I think that exactly whom this album is intended for. Hardcore listeners and followers of the Outlawz will definitely enjoy this album and for casual listeners like myself who come across this album will find select track that they enjoy. The Outlawz have done their job with this album in producing an album that will not only satisfy their more dedicated listeners but also suit occasional listeners.
nappyPicks: “Thuggin’ Till I Die”, “We Want In”, “Hunger Pains”, “Take It Off”, & “Everything Happenz 4 A Reason”