From his work as one half of A.G. and Showbiz to his contributions as a founding member of the criminally slept on Diggin’ in the Crates crew, Andre the Giant is a veritable living legend in hip-hop. But after the release of D.I.T.C.’s self-titled endeavor in 2000, the Giant slipped into obscurity. It would be six years until he would return, which is an eon by hip-hop standards.
That may be why A.G. wisely enlisted today’s heavyweight producers for Get Dirty Radio. The Giant sounds best over such boastful tracks as Jake One’s “If I Wanna” and DJ Designs’ “Triumph” (which could comfortably fit on any D.I.T.C. album). Likewise, the monstrous “Yeah Nigga” finds A.G. doing what he does best on the mike: destroying the competition.
But the strongest cuts are the ones where A.G. shows his versatility. On J Dilla’s crushing beat for “Hip-Hop Quotable,” A.G. crafts a playful collage of famous one-liners from hip-hop classics. “Love” has the rapper reflecting on the title’s meaning and nimbly keeping this Oh No-produced affair from completely sounding like cheese. “The Struggle” features longtime cohort Show providing a simple strings sample for A.G. to reveal the darker side of a street life often glorified by others in the game.
Get Dirty Radio is certainly not without its missteps. “Say Yeah” is an embarrassing attempt at crossover club appeal. “We Don’t Care” is aptly titled: Lord Finesse’s lackluster board work sounds dreadfully dated. Even Madlib catches a brick for his work on the grating “Frozen” and on the faux G-funk/Sittin’ on Chrome stylings of “Take a Ride.”
On closer “Who Dat?,” A.G. raps over a beat that lifts the famed sample from Show and AG’s classic “Next Level.” Unfortunately, A.G. doesn’t even come close to touching his performance on the original version. The track feels like a desperate attempt by A.G. to solidify his legacy. To be sure, Get Dirty Radio has its fair share of namedropping and references to Showbiz, D.I.T.C., and of course Big L. Even the aforementioned “Frozen” ends with a barrage of clips from hip-hop greats Jay Z, Big L and Madlib shouting out Showbiz and A.G. in their rhymes, as if these were stamps of approval from better-known artists.
With Get Dirty Radio, A.G. is clearly trying to appease die-hard fans while trying to convert new jacks who are oblivious to the man’s legacy. Despite the updated sound of the beats, A.G.’s rapping is solid at best but tends to sound utterly dated.
Label: http://www.lookrecords.com/Audio: http://www.myspace.com/agditc