We Are the Streets
- Ruff Ryders/Interscope
Far surpassing the lofty quotient of pistol poppin', blunt smokin', robbery, murder, mayhem, and misogyny necessary to maintain their street credibility, Lox put the hammer down plenty on this almost comical blast of hip-hop aggression.
The Yonkers, New York, trio of Sheek, Styles, and Jadakiss recently split from Puff Daddy's Bad Boy label in favor of the trendier Ruff Ryders. Shooting for as brutal a sound as possible here, they set their rhymes against producer Swizz Beats' synth-heavy, beat-staggered layers.
There are times when it's tough to resist, as during "U Told Me," which features Eve, or the arm-waving current single "Wild Out." But mostly, the ludicrous wordplay gets old in a hurry. A spin through bullet-riddled tracks like the murderous "Can I Live" — in which the protagonist ignores a victim pleading for life — or "Ryde or Die, B****," will be plenty enough to make some shake heads while this makes the inevitable race up the charts.