Monday, September 05, 2005

Sheek Louch-Aftre Taxes Review

D-Block/Koch

Production: Buckwild, Havoc, Alchemist, Red Spyda, Vinny Idol

Sheek Louch Wasn’t supposed to overcome odds. Critics were quick to label the Yonkers, NY native as the weak link in the Lox, as some felt he lacked the lyrical dexterity and charisma of Jadakiss & Styles P. Fortunately, Sheek was able to silence the haters with his 2003 solo debut Walk Witt Me. As Arguably the best lox solo album, Walk Witt Me displayed Sheek’s maturation through introspective and conceptual material such as “I Aint Forget”, “354” and the title track. This growth continues on his sophomore release, After Taxes.

While it lacks the honesty of Walk Witt Me, After Taxes compensates with its cohesiveness and top notch production lineup. With Various hiphop heavyweights behind the boards, the album’s beat selection provides the right foundation for success. The MC is ushered in triumphantly on “intro”, as D.I.T.C. legend Buckwild provides a haunting string arrangement that sets the stage perfectly. And on the Havoc produced “Broadway”, Sheek delivers thugged out playa tales for the ladies without sacrificing his integrity.

In addition to its potent beats, After Taxes features several standout guest appearances. “oh oh” finds Sheek & Ghostface coming together over a vintage Alchemist piano loop, making for one of the album’s strongest efforts. Also outstanding are “Get Up, Stand Up”, featuring Redman, and the controversial “Street Music”, on which Game throws strong shots at the entire G-Unit Camp.

But if you thought Sheek himself wasn’t going to speak on the conflict between D-Block & G-Unit, think again. On the sizzing “Maybe If I Sing”, Sheek lets loose on 50, Lloyd Banks & Young Buck. With Red Spyda’s menacing bells echoing though out the track, Sheek goes hard at 50, calling him a dry snitch and spittin “You aint as big as those white dudes who cut your check.”

With only 2 missteps “Back in the days” and “All fed up” - After Taxes proves that the skills Sheek displayed on Walk Witt Me were no fluke. Thanks to the superb production backing him up, he is able to deliver another blow to those critics who doubted him. While Sheek may not garner a platinum plaque with After Taxes, D-Block fans will appreciate his decision to stay true to the streets from which he came.

3.5 Mics

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