Jadakiss – Top 5 Dead Or Alive Album Review
Written By DJ Blak Boy
If you haven’t heard Jadakiss’ new album yet, then don’t waste your time UNLESS you have him in your top five because this album proves why. It has been six years since Jadakiss has last released an album and with this being his fourth studio album, it’s clear to see that Jadakiss prefers quality over quantity. Jadakiss took his time with this album being that it took a total of five years to record it. With features from artists such as Akon, Lil Wayne, Nas, Sheek Louch, Styles P, and many more, this album promises nothing but greatness. This album also features work from dope producers as well such as Swizz Beatz, Just Blaze, Bangladesh, Arkatech Beatz, and more. Initially the name of the album caught my attention because Jadakiss is often brought up in many “top rapper” arguments. Not only that, it also makes me think if Jadakiss knows for sure he is the top five dead or alive, who else does he consider a rap god along with him. Maybe it’s among some of the artists he featured or the rap gods that everybody has the common interest in. Either way it goes, Jadakiss has earned his spot.
Getting into it, Jadakiss kicks the project off with a mellow and appropriate intro that leads into a song together titled “First 48”. Jadakiss has always delivered strong lyrics that make him stand apart from any other and this proves that he still holds the ability to rap in ways other rappers envy. The following track, “Shop Talk”, is a skit that takes place in a barbershop and people talking about comparing the old 90s style of rap to the new age of rap. This skit serves purpose because through time, Jadakiss has evolved to a rapper that has the respect to keep his original style that conforms to the new generation that some greats can’t keep up with. The skit leads into the next track “You Don’t Eat” that has sound bites from Diddy talking about grinding. This is dope considering the history that Jadakiss has with Bad Boy the label and Jadakiss has kept a solid relationship with the company. Jadakiss has a respect across the globe that has kept him relevant for the years he has been in the game.
The next track “You Can See” somewhat caught me off guard because I didn’t expect to hear a feature from Future, but with the heat Future has been dropping, how could you not work with a rapper that has the golden touch. Another track that I didn’t expect is “So High” which is featuring Wiz Khalifa. Both of these songs are dope and make sense so they went over well and didn’t seem to be forced. With the respect that many have for Jadakiss, it is nothing for him to reach out to whomever he needs for the perfect collaboration. Which leads into the “Y.O. (Youthful Offenders)” track featuring the industry heavyweight Akon. Being that I don’t hear much Akon these days, if anybody is able to get the multi-platinum selling artist on a song, it is promising to be dope. Did I add that Akon also produced the song as well? Which is highly impressive but nothing less than expected. These rap juggernauts formulated a good song about the drive of today’s youth to get it through hustling no matter what the consequences are.
Jadakiss was able to get his hands on a Swizz Beatz track as well, titled “Jason” which is the first single released from the project. With the signature Swizz sound and Jadakiss raspy delivery, this song is an instant hit and a New York classic that big apple can take pride in. The next song “Kill” produced by Bangladesh and featuring Lil Wayne is appropriate considering the fact that Wayne is another rapper often brought up in “top rapper” discussions. The flow and punch lines are through the roof so if you ever dreamed of such a collaboration from both rappers then the rap gods have blessed the fans with what they asked for. Jadakiss doesn’t have to rely on features but one could only think that whatever artists he works with should consider it a privilege.
Other dope songs featuring an artist on T5DOA are “Ain’t Nothin New” featuring Ne-Yo and Nipsey Hussle, “Critical” featuring Jeezy, and “Realest In The Game” featuring Young Buck and Sheek Louch, which is produced by Arkatech Beatz who produced one of the hottest beats on the album. My favorite collaboration on T5DOA is “Rain” featuring Nas and Styles P. I would like to mention that being a fan of The Lox, I appreciate seeing Jadakiss still working with Sheek Louch and Styles P. Not many artists are close knit and authentic enough to stand the test of time to still work together. Nonetheless, the collaborations on this album make sense and are great.
My favorite songs on this album are “Cutlass” featuring Exodus that is a mellow record with a laid back beat produced by Posta. Another track that I like is “Synergy” featuring Styles P and produced by Just Blaze (who did an exceptional job as usual). “Synergy” is that classic Jadakiss we appreciated from day one. The last song on the album took a more left field direction but showed the talented range of Jadakiss that he has done time and time again. Not too many are able to pull off what Jadakiss did with this album. From the lyrics to the skits, this project was well done and put together perfectly. It may be a bit biased but I think this is a great album that will age well over time, as it becomes a classic. You can’t rule New York rappers out just yet because if the new generation can’t get it done, believe that the young OGs will hold it down and prove why they are great!