Review ·

Are you bored with Busta Rhymes' versatility? Do you wish he would just make more "street" records, calling out all the bitch-ass motherfucker weak emcees in the industry? Do you own the Flipmode Squad album and need to get caught up on the latest exploits of Spliff Star? That's what the New Crack City mixtape is all about, but Busta's dedication to busting on fools wears thin on these tracks. He saves his humor for the skits, where he talks about throwing entire albums, rather than mixtapes, into the street -- and true enough, this is an album full of original material. He also warns other rappers not to merge into his lane, particularly when they signal with their indicator lights. Been driving in Los Angeles lately, Busta Bus?


Clinton Sparks mans this companion piece to Busta's great Big Bang album, doing production on sixteen of the scale-tipping thirty three tracks. For a mixtape general, Sparks provides some decent production, using his synths to the fullest. He even does a decent Dre impression on the sinister "I'm Loco," the hook of which features everyone's favorite lackadaisical gangsta rapper 50 Cent. Sparks's use of Phil Collins on "Survival" displays some imagination that toes that delicious line between the silly and sublime.


Cameos are a mixed bag; Labba does a Biggie Smalls impression with a narcoleptic, offbeat flow. Rah Digga comes off as a hip-hop hipster's wet dream: "The only thing tighter than [her] rhymes is the puss," and when she aliases herself "Pretty in Pink," talking about her "assortment of lead/ Listen to Portishead/ smokin' an L" over J-Dilla's "Last Donut," well, it's hard not to fall in love. Sadly, the violent New Crack City is no place for a romance.


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